In this Age of the Deteriorated Attention Span, we're guessing that not many of you may recall a simpler time way back when Motorola's financial troubles constituted an actual plot twist on this show, instead of the status quo. Sad to say, then, only those of you with severe long-term memory disorders are likely to find anything even remotely surprising about the latest chapter in Motorola's ongoing tale of woe. Still, given the company's continued role as the maker of the G4 in Apple's pro Macs, we find ourselves compelled to beat this issue to death. Sorry about that. But then, predictability aside, financial strife is always at least a little entertaining, yes?
That said, here's the latest crybaby stuff, courtesy of faithful viewer Stuart Janney: according to a Reuters article, Motorola now plans to close two more of its semiconductor plants over the course of the next couple of years. We already knew that Motorola's chip business hasn't been doing so hot of late (it lost $381 million last quarter), but you mightn't have known that the company "has closed five chip plants in the last four years" and "was already phasing out another two facilities." Nine announced plant shutdowns in four years? Boy howdy, that's a lot of shrinkage.
On the plus side, these two latest plant closures apparently aren't going to translate into a ton of layoffs, as "most" of the 1200 employees working at those facilities "will be transferred to other Phoenix-area plants." Nevertheless, the company expects at least "some job losses" from the closures, thus pushing Motorola's layoff count past the 30,000 mark. Yes, that number is correct: a three and four zeroes. That's how many pink slips Motorola projected that it would be handing out by the end of this year (24,000 have already been served), not including any losses from these two latest plant closures. (We can only assume that in an economy like this, whoever's making the pink slips is getting rich, rich, rich.)
We're guessing that this might spark yet another round of analysts begging Motorola to spin off or sell its chipmaking arm for the good of the corporation, but so far, Motorola has been unwavering in its assertion that cranking out semiconductors is one of its "core businesses." Personally, we don't care much one way or the other, just as long as Apple gets enough G4s (and eventually, G5s) to satisfy demand. But for those of you still harboring secret hopes that Motorola might eventually sell its chip business to Apple, a thirty-month plant closure schedule doesn't sound like the move of a company preparing to put out a "FOR SALE" sign. Still, hope springs eternal, right?