Wireless Briefs

Heads continue to roll at Motorola Inc., with the network and telecommunication equipment maker reporting a 20 per cent reduction in its high-level executive staff – about 120 managers – in an announcement preceding its annual earnings statement on Jan. 22. Motorola started cutting jobs in earnest in December 2000 and will have released 42,900 workers and transferred 5,500 employees by the end of 2002, the company said last month, when announcing it would lay off 9,400 workers this year. The elimination of positions ranked vice-president or higher is included in December’s layoff numbers, a Motorola spokeswoman said. The company had 150,000 employees in August 2000.

Lucent Technologies Inc. this month named a former executive as its new CEO, ending a long search that began with the removal of CEO Rich McGinn in October 2000. Lucent tapped Patricia Russo, president and COO of Eastman Kodak Co., as its new president and CEO, replacing Henry Schacht, who will now serve as interim chairman for a year. Russo spent only nine months at Kodak, after 20 years with Lucent and AT&T Corp. Russo is viewed by observers as a Lucent “insider,” who, despite her nine-month sabbatical at Kodak, is familiar with the company’s operations, markets, product lines and problems. She can make decisions quicker, and implement and execute procedures faster than an outsider, they say.

In related Kodak news, the company has formed a new entity called Appairent Technologies Inc., which will create tools for sending high-quality video, still images and data over wireless networks, Kodak announced earlier this month. Kodak will tap some of its existing research and development expertise to create the new company, according to Joe Runde, a Kodak spokesman. Kodak teamed with the Monroe Fund, a venture capital firm managed by a unit of Trillium Group LLC, as the initial investors in Appairent. The companies did not disclose the amount of their funding.