Lenovo-owned Motorola is one of the few Android smartphone makers that has a headquarters in the U.S. Their Chicago office has been slowly dwindling over the years and it’s about to get much worse. Several sources are reporting that Motorola will be laying off close to half of their Chicago workforce next month. One source claims 190 people will be laid off. The future is not looking good for Moto phones on the horizon.
Motorola has confirmed the reports with the following statement:
In late 2017, Lenovo announced a worldwide resource action that would occur over the next several quarters, and impacting less than two percent of its global workforce. This week’s employment reductions are a continuation of that process. We are reducing our Motorola operations in Chicago however this did not impact half of our workforce there and our Moto Z family will continue.
They’re claiming the layoffs “did not impact half of the workforce,” but that goes against many of the reports swirling around right now. Motorola is also adamant that the Moto Z family will continue, though it likely will look a lot different. A second report is claiming the Moto X5 has been canceled and they will downsize the Moto Mod collection to basically just battery packs and style covers. They will focus solely on the E, G, and Z lines going forward.
Signs of Trouble
The initial source of all this was an alleged ex-Motorola employee who left a comment on TheLayoff.com. He/she stated that 50% of the Chicago workforce was told April 6th would be their last day. Then, the owner of the popular Keyboard Moto Mod told an Indiegogo backer that “there has been some shocking news recently” and “the Z team in Moto was irreversibly impacted.” Not exactly the type of stuff you want to hear from people who have worked closely with the company.
This news might not be surprising to a lot of people. Motorola has not been doing well since the Lenovo takeover. Moto Mods were a cool concept, but they never seemed to really take off. A lot of manufacturers are hurting right now. If you’re not Samsung or Apple (and Google to a lesser extent), the smartphone market is a scary place.