Google-Motorola Mobility Job Cuts Here, Not There

Google’s $12.5 billion Motorola Mobility buyout closed today, raising the specter of potential layoffs.

Here’s where potential Motorola IT jobs may be at risk and where others may be sitting on more secure ground.

Layoffs at Motorola Mobility post-merger could reach as high as 30 percent of the smartphone’s worldwide workforce, according to a TechCrunch report cited in The Verge. But TechCrunch has since removed that 30 percent figure.

Job Cuts, Job Hires?

A review of Motorola Mobility’s recent job postings by Dice News shows some interesting patterns that may hint to where an ax could fall.

Engineering jobs look pretty secure, given the cell phone maker has been posting positions as recently as yesterday and a number of them are in the United States.

UI developers in the U.S. may not be as lucky. The company has been hiring in this area for the past two months, but mainly overseas.  The same can be said for folks working in Motorola’s operations and supply chain, where recent hiring has largely been in China, as one would expect.

Things look rather bleak if you work in information technology or integrated circuit design at Motorola. Little to no new job postings have appeared in these two areas recently, raising the question of whether jobs here may be at stake in a post Google-Motorola world.

Motorola IT Executives Keep Jobs

The good news is Google plans to keep some of the key Motorola executives around. It announced its new executive lineup today. Motorola’s Iqbal Arshad will remain in charge of product development, Mahesh Veerina continues to oversee software and enterprise, and Jim Wicks will continue to head consumer experience design.

Motorola Mobility’s CEO Sanjay Jha, however, has stepped down as CEO and will continue to help with the transition. Dennis Woodside, former president of Google Americas and lead in the integration efforts, will take over as CEO of Motorola Mobility.

Also departing, though, according to All Things Digital, are strategy chief John Bucher, Senior VP Alain Mutricy, supply chain head Mike Fleming, chief marketer Bill Ogle, HR head Scott Crum, operating chief Juergen Stark, CFO Marc Rothman and enterprise unit head Christy Wyatt. It says Mahesh Veerina, the senior VP of software and services, will take Wyatt’s duties.

Motorola Integration

Google has about 33,000 employees and will gain about 19,000 with the Motorola deal. Business Insider quotes an unnamed former Google executive saying that integrating that many people into the company would be imposible. That article says Google’s largest acquisition by headcount so far has been DoubleClick, in which it added 1,600 workers. And then-CEO Eric Schmidt told DoubleClick to cut its staff by 40 percent.

In November, Motorola Mobility announced it was cutting its work force by 800 people to slash costs, but that reduction apparently was not the final ax to fall in the acquisition. Before Motorola split its business in two, it cut 3,000 jobs in 2009 and around 1,000 in 2010. About 700 people were let go in 2011 before the November layoffs.

In writing about Motorola Mobility’s plans to move to downtown Chicago, blogger Don Wilmott cited Crain’s Chicago Business contention that the move signals that  Google intends to keep all of Motorola Mobility’s parts, rather than sell off the hardware businesses and keep the patents. Google has said all along that Motorola Mobility will continue as a separate organization.

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