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Motorola hands itself divorce papers - again

Company tells itself, 'we need to talk'

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Motorola has finally set itself a date to breakup, and plans to divest itself of itself in the first quarter of next year.

In the meantime, the firm will "separate into two independent, publicy traded companies." One will bring together its mobile devices and home businesses, while the other will cover its enterprise mobility and networks businesses.

The mobile devices and home business will be headed up by co-CEO Sanjay Jha, while his counterpart, Greg Brown will head up the rest.

Brown said, "We are the leading mission- and business-critical technology solutions provider with a commitment to innovation. As an independent company, we will continue to build on our long-standing tradition of strong customer relationships, leading-edge product development, quality, thought leadership, and solid financial performance."

Jha said, "Together we will be best positioned to lead in the convergence of mobility, media, and the Internet. Our expanding portfolio of smartphones and end-to-end video content delivery capabilities will enable us to provide advanced mobile media solutions and multi-screen experiences for our customers."

Which kind of leaves you wondering - if the respective businesses are both so well placed, indeed "leading" in their fields, why does the firm want to break itself up.

The fact it it has struggled to make itself relevant in the handset business for almost a decade - the Razr apart. It spent the early part of the noughties so preoccupied with internal restructuring that it forgot to compete in the market.

Apparently, splitting will allow the businesses will allow them to be well capitalised, and able to execute their respective business plans.

Perhaps significantly, the mobile devices unit will own the Motorola brand, and license it to its twin enterprise business. We'll leave it to you to decide whether their means the enterprise business is expecting to be swallowed up by someone else before two long.

The firm warned that it was always possible the split would not happen. Which is no surprise. It has attempted to divorce itself in the past and failed. ®

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