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Motorola To Slash 4000 Jobs Worldwide

(c) Sky News 2012

Motorola Mobility has said it will axe 20% of its workforce and shut nearly a third of its offices worldwide in a bid to return its business to profitability.

One-third of the jobs lost will be in the United States, but the company has not specified where or what facilities would be affected.

Motorola (NYSE: MOT - news) also announced a shift in emphasis away from low-cost non-smartphones to "more innovative and profitable devices".

Google Inc (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) , which bought Motorola for $12.5bn (£7.9bn) last year, said: "These changes are designed to return Motorola's mobile devices unit to profitability, after it lost money in fourteen of the last sixteen quarters.

"While lower expenses are likely to lag the immediate negative impact to revenue, Google sees these actions as a key step for Motorola to achieve sustainable profitability."

Google said it expects to take a severance-related charge of up to $275m (£175m) mostly in the third quarter, and added it could also incur other related restructuring charges in the third quarter.

But the internet search company added that it could not currently predict the amount of these other charges, although warned they could be significant.

The Google spokeswoman said: "Motorola is committed to helping them (the employees) through this difficult transition and will be providing generous severance packages, as well as outplacement services to help people find new jobs."

Google bought Motorola Mobility in order to use Motorola Mobility's patents to fend off legal attacks on its Android mobile platform and expand beyond its software business.

Motorola Mobility, which has 94 offices throughout the world, will center research and development in Chicago, Sunnyvale, California and Beijing.