Yesterday, Lenovo announced a new round of layoffs that significantly affect the company's Motorola division. While the layoffs only affect "less than two percent" of Lenovo's 55,000 employees globally, more than half of the remaining Motorola employees could find themselves out of work.
Lenovo's statement says that the "ongoing strategic integration between Lenovo and its Motorola smartphone business" is the reason for the headcount reduction. Specifically, the company is looking to streamline its product portfolio such that it can "best compete in the global smartphone market".
Laying off up to two percent of Lenovo's 55,000 employees indicates that as many as 1,100 employees will be made redundant in the cuts. Droid-Life suggests that only 1,200 Motorola employees remain at Lenovo, so we could see more than 90 percent of the current Motorola team laid off. Lenovo will, however, keep the Motorola Mobility headquarters in Chicago, as opposed to integrating it with Lenovo's North Carolina offices.
These layoffs come after Lenovo cut 3,200 employees from its global workforce in August last year, affecting ten percent of the company's non-manufacturing staff. Some Motorola staff were affected in last year's significant round of cuts, and even more will be affected this year.
While Motorola has continued to produce compelling smartphones under Lenovo, the company has faced increased competition in the smartphone market, particularly at the low end where Motorola's most popular smartphones sit. Clearly the division is struggling, as reflected by the layoffs, but let's hope the company can continue creating great smartphones in the future.