Monday, March 10

Motorola’s cup of woes is still overflowing….Is Carl Icahn the person who can stem the tide?

For the fourth-quarter, Motorola reported an 83.9% drop in earnings to $100 million, or 4 cents per share, compared to last year’s $623 million, or 25 cents per share.

Then, Motorola announced that it is exploring a restructuring which could include the sale of its mobile phone business.

In order to stem the losses, CEO Greg Brown took over the mobile handset division from Stu Reed. He also replaced acting CFO Tom Meredith with Paul Liska.

Motorola unveiled some unimpressive models at the World Mobile Congress. No surprises there.

Still, Motorola shares were down 38 % in 2008.

If this wasn’t enough, Motorola is getting itself embroiled in a political controversy.

Bill Ray from The Register reported that when Motorola threatened to abandon the Malaysia, causing 10,000 job losses, the outgoing Malaysian chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon wrote to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi asking that a £150m contract for upgrading the country’s police radios be awarded to Motorola. In return Motorola would agree to invest £55m in the country. In the view of impending elections, this letter caused a political furore in Malaysia when it was leaked to the media.

Carl Icahn, now has increased his share to 6.3%. He is looking to muscle his way into the Board of Directors by nominating people from his trusted circle. Motorola’s shares temporarily shot up.

Though proving to be an eternal thorn in Motorola’s side, somehow one gets the feeling that Carl Icahn is the only person who might be able to guide Motorola out of the mess it has fallen into.

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