Layoffs Come to Thousands at RIM, Motorola Mobility

AxeBad news is coming for thousands of mobile-company workers as Research in Motion and Google’s Motorola Mobility both prepare for layoffs.

RIM is expected to let up to 3,000 people go today. Yesterday — Sunday — Google said it will cut 20 percent of Motorola Mobility’s workforce and close a third of its 94 offices worldwide.

One-third of the Motorola cuts will be in the United States. Among the drivers of Google’s decision: a desire to exit unprofitable markets, stop making low-end phones and focus on a few smartphones rather than the 27 it has now.

Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s new chief executive, told the New York Times that the changes are part of Google’s efforts to move into mobile. It acquisition of Motorola Mobility — and its 17,000 patients — was thought to be a way of defending itself against challenges to Android. Clearly, however, it wants to get into the hardware business as well. But just as Microsoft has been reminded, that can really irk your hardware partners.

Google’s hired new senior management at Motorola Mobility and let go 40 percent of its vice presidents. The company plans to shrink operations in Asia and India and center research and development Sunnyvale, Calif., Beijing and Chicago, where it just signed a 15-year lease for a new headquarters downtown.

Google reportedly has been preparing to sell off Motorola’s cable assets as well.

Poor RIM

At RIM, only employees working on its next operating system, BlackBerry 10, are saidto be safe from the ax.

However, BGR has confirmed that the 3,000 cuts are part of the June 28 announcement that 5,000 positions would be eliminated. At the time, RIM again delayed release of BlackBerry 10 until the first quarter of 2013. It had been expected to debut in the first quarter of this year. The delay came because of CEO Thorsten Heins’s insistence on delivering the most polished BlackBerry experience yet, instead of launching something half-baked. Unfortunately, the continued delays mean RIM will come late to a crowded party.

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2 Responses to “Layoffs Come to Thousands at RIM, Motorola Mobility”

  1. How does RIM still exist, their products have been garbage for years now. They had the ball in the very beginning and have dropped it too many times. Once people realised that a Canada based company had a stranglehold on the technology and did not have proper DR in place, there was a mass exodus to the next best thing… iphones and androids. Having a blackberry says, “i’m a slow adopter (and probably old) who is living in a tiny cocoon that I’ve surrounded myself with.” Blackberry is dead, if you still work for RIM, your job is on the chopping block, it doesn’t matter what fail product you’re working on… because nobody gives a crap.