Motorola replaces finance chief amid weak outlook

Motorola replaced its chief financial officer in a shake-up of top management as it slashed its first-quarter forecast, blaming weaker-than-expected revenue from its mobile phone unit, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the company, till reeling from sales and profit problems that emerged in the fourth quarter, said it now expects to report a first-quarter loss because of what chairman and CEO Ed Zander called an 'unacceptable' performance by its mobile device business.

Thomas Meredith, 56, was named acting chief financial officer, effective April 1, the report said. He replaces David Devonshire, 61, who will retire from the position. Zander also named Greg Brown, president of the company's networks and enterprise business, to the vacant posts of president and COO.

The surprise announcement after markets closed reflected even deeper turmoil within the Schaumburg-based company just a month after the head of its embattled handset business resigned.

The world's No. 2 mobile phone maker behind Nokia said it now expects sales for the January-through-March quarter of $9.2 billion to $9.3 billion, down more than $1 billion from its January forecast of $10.4 billion to $10.6 billion, the report said.

The company said it expects sales, profitability and operating cash flow for the full year to be 'substantially' below its prior guidance, the report said.