Nearly a year ago we told you about an interesting new hire and strategy at Motorola.
So what do you do if you're a technology company whose products are suffering from technological inferiority? Appoint a CEO who doesn't use technology!
Motorola's current CEO, Greg Brown, is so technologically out of touch he refuses to use a computer for communications, and has all his email correspondences printed by his secretary and replied to by dictation.
And if you're running a technology company that has inferior products, what do you do? Cut R&D!
Motorola Labs, which developed at least two-thirds of Motorola's patents, has been cut from 1,000 to 600 researchers. Further reductions are expected this summer, according to people familiar with the matter, including 200 researchers to be laid off. Only 200 would remain in the group, the people said.
And so it came to pass…
Motorola Inc. is expected to report grim fourth-quarter results on Tuesday as sales at its troubled cellphone unit plummet.
Not that it has convinced them to change the strategy. If you are losing money because you haven't kept up with technology, then Motorola's concept of "vision" includes cutting the people that create technology.
But deep cuts in areas the company has identified as priorities are casting doubts on its announced strategy of focusing on high-end phones and whether it will have enough manpower to complete its hoped-for turnaround. It's cuts haven't spared parts of the cellphone division previously flagged as crucial to its turnaround plans, both in terms fo devices and regional markets.
But hey, while whacking the areas that are critical to the future, why stop with technology?
Mr. Jha's turnaround plan also called for a focus on the Americas and China, the company's areas of greatest strength, as it pulled back from Europe, the Middle East and much of Asia. Yet Motorola has cut deep into sales and marketing staff in Latin America, according to people familiar with the situation.
Systematically killing the areas that historically created strength and are critical to future viability. Where have I heard that before? Does Dell and manufacturing ring a bell?