Motorola said Wednesday that it would cut another 4,000 jobs, or more than 6 percent of its shrinking work force, as part of a plan to improve sagging financial and operational results.
With the latest round of cuts, the company has announced plans to eliminate more than 10 percent of its work force since the start of 2007, when it became clear that two years of strong momentum behind the popular Razr mobile phone had collapsed.
The company’s travails caused it to be the target of a proxy fight this year by the billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn, who lost his bid this month for a board seat.
Motorola said Wednesday that Mr. Icahn had received 717.1 million votes, compared with 931.7 million for John A. White, the company nominee he was closest to defeating. All other Motorola nominees got at least 1.6 billion votes.
The company had been in the process of eliminating 3,500 jobs as part of a two-year cost-cutting plan to save $400 million. Motorola said the newly announced cuts, together with other cost-control measures, would save another $600 million in 2008.
Motorola’s work force, which stood at 150,000 worldwide as recently as 2000, had declined to 66,000 at the beginning of the year, the AP reports.
Chief Executive Officer Ed Zander has come under fire from investors for not moving quickly enough to revive the mobile- phone business. He is rolling out new products and focusing on profit, instead of chopping prices to win back market share.
“Long-term, sustainable profitability is -- and always has been -- Motorola's top priority,” Chief Financial Officer Tom Meredith said in the statement.
Motorola said the January firings, which mainly affected middle managers, will be completed on schedule by June 30. The company, which had 66,000 workers at the end of 2006, plans to save $400 million a year with the original cuts.
The company said separately a count of shareholder votes confirmed that billionaire investor Carl Icahn failed to win a seat on the board. Icahn, who criticized management, won 717.1 million votes, compared with 931.7 million for John White, who has been on Motorola's board since 1995, Bloomberg reports.
The company, which also makes network equipment and television set-top boxes, has said in recent months it was shifting the priorities of its phone business to improving profitability from gaining market share at all costs.
In a separate statement, Motorola, which recently ended a bitter proxy battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, said on Wednesday that Icahn had won more than 43 percent of the votes for a seat on the board at its annual meeting in May.
Motorola's preferred candidate, John White, was voted in over Icahn, the activist investor who had taken a stake of roughly 3 percent in the company in an effort to get onto its board, Reuters reports.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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