Motorola Australian employees face uncertain future

Hundreds of Australian Motorola Inc. employees face an uncertain future as the communications company slashes five percent of its global workforce.

After reporting a 48 percent plunge in its fourth quarter profit this week, Motorola will cut 3,500 jobs of its 70,000 employees by the end of 2007.

This will lower its corporate cost structure by US$400 million, according to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Zander.

Motorola Australia spokesman Russell Grimmer was unable to confirm how many jobs will be axed locally adding that the cuts will be spread across the globe.

Australia is a key part of Motorola’s global roadmap. In software alone, Motorola Australia’s annual exports have reached A$80 million (US$62.6 million) with the company setting up software development centers in Adelaide and Perth.

More than 600 IT staff are employed in the region and following Nokia Corp., Motorola is the world’s second largest wireless handset vendor.

While profits sank from US$1.2 billion last year to $624 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, wireless handset sales jumped 47 percent.

Zander said the cuts will come from the networks and enterprise group, as well as overlapping positions created with the recent acquisitions of Symbol Technologies and Good Technology.

The companies best chance for future profits can be found in mobile communications, according to Zander.

– with Sandra Rossi

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