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Motorola Mobility Cuts to Include 700 Jobs

Google-owned Motorola Mobility plans to cut jobs below the 2,500 mark and expects its headcount to drop to 2,256.

August 13, 2012
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Motorola Mobility said it is cutting 700 jobs in Libertyville, Illinois, as part of its overall cutbacks of 4,000 jobs announced today.

"While we expect this strategy to create new opportunities and help return Motorola's mobile devices unit to profitability, we understand how hard these changes will be for the employees concerned," a Motorola spokeswoman says. "Motorola is committed to helping them through this difficult transition and will be providing generous severance packages, as well as outplacement services to help people find new jobs."

Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside said when he announced plans to move the company from Libertyville to the Merchandise Mart that it planned to keep headcount at 3,000. However, the company's 10-year deal for $110 million in tax incentives and job-training funds requires a minimum of 2,500 jobs. That was before Google Inc. bought Motorola for $12.5 billion this year.

Google told the state it planned to cut jobs below the 2,500 mark and that it expected its headcount to drop to 2,256, a spokeswoman for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was told about the cuts late last week, a spokesman for the mayor's office told Crain's.

The incentives are doled out annually. If Motorola's headcount drops below 2,500 in a given year, it doesn't receive the tax benefits. The company can reapply for the incentives when headcount meets the threshold.

In a statement, the city said: "We expect them to create thousands of jobs in Chicago over time."

John Pletz writes for Crain's Chicago Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

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