Monday, April 7

Motorola Round Up

Icahn Triumphs At Last!

Motorola has caved in to Carl Icahn’s demands and has announced that that it will appointing Keith Meister as a non-executive and nominate William Hambrecht to the Motorola board at its annual general meeting. In return, Icahn will withdraw all pending litigation against Motorola. In addition, Motorola has also agreed to seek input from Icahn in connection with significant matters regarding the intended separation of the Mobile Devices business, including the search for a new chief executive to head the Mobile Devices business. This might probably bring to an end the 18-month squabble between Icahn and Motorola. Only time will tell.

Indians Flying High

After two of the legendary British marquees came under the management of Tata Motors, it was the turn of Videocon to express interest in acquiring a part of American heritage, Motorola. Motorola recently celebrated 35th anniversary of the world’s first cell phone. Standing at the corner of New York's 56th and Lexington 35 years ago on April 3rd, 1973, Marty Cooper placed the first ever cell phone call to Bell Labs engineer Joe Engel. Coming on the eve of the anniversary, many guffawed at Videocon’s interest to acquire the Mobile Handset division of Motorola. Some termed it as arrogant. Some said that it was impossible and immature of Videocon as it had no prior experience. Well Americans are yet to come to terms with “nothing is impossible” attitude of the Indians. Why don’t they ask the British?

Motorola Shuts Shop At Singapore

Motorola has announced that it will stop making mobile phones in Singapore by the end of the year, a move that will result in the loss of 700 jobs. According to a Motorola spokeswoman “The decision follows a strategic review of business operations, which includes a previously announced global $500 million cost-reduction initiative". However Moto will continue to base its headquarters for Asia-Pacific in Singapore where it also has units engaged in research and software development.

Axe Effect?

Motorola announced that it is axing a further 2,600 workers, thereby bringing the company's total employee cuts to more than 10,000 since last year. The company said that the cutbacks are being made across all divisions. In a filing, Motorola said that it will take a pre-tax charge of about $104m (£52m) in the first quarter to cover severance costs from the new layoffs. If we look back to 2007, Motorola had said that it would cut 3,500 jobs as part of a two-year cost-cutting plan to save $400m. Then again the company announced cuts of another 4,000 jobs in May last year with hopes of improving its financial and operational results. Statistics say that Moto has cut more than 10pc of its workforce since the start of 2007. The company will make public its full first-quarter financial results on April 24. Anyone willing to bet on the continuance of the Axe Effect?

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