Motorola cuts headcount of research labs

Motorola would roughly halve the size of its research labs to about 300 people as it plans to halt some projects and move at least 180 people to other units, according to a Reuters report.

The loss-making company, which is planning to spin off its cell phone business amid huge market share losses and sharp criticism of its phone designs, said 180 research labs workers would be moved to its three business units, effective July 1, the Reuters report added.

Motorola has a network equipment and set top boxes unit and a government and public safety business as well as its mobile phone business, which ceded its No. 2 global ranking to Samsung Electronics last year.

To reduce costs, another 150 Motorola research positions will be cut worldwide as Motorola stops some research projects, according to spokeswoman Maya Komadina, the Reuters report said.

But the executive did not disclose which projects would end or in which countries.

She said Motorola, which had 66,000 employees at the end of 2007, was looking for opportunities in other parts of the company for eligible workers affected by the cutbacks.

The spokeswoman said that moving researchers to the business groups they support would help focus research investment on projects that deliver the greatest value.

The remaining research organization's roughly will be renamed the Applied Research & Technology Center and focus on longer-term technologies. Its roughly 300 workers will be under Dan Moloney, head of Motorola's networks and set-top box unit.