Motorola sends 1,000 drones packing

'Goodbye, Moto!'

Motorola plans to axe 1,000 workers across a number of business units, hoping to reduce costs as it refocuses on its wireless business.

Staffers from the commercial, government, industrial solutions, broadband communications and integrated electronics units will all be let go, resulting in $50m of severance charges. Other cuts come as a result of Motorola's semiconductor business spin-off - known as Freescale. Motorola expects to spread out the charges from the third quarter of 2004 to the first quarter of 2005, it said today in a filing with the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).

"The productivity plans are designed to adjust our workforce to align it with the company's focus on seamless mobility and to eliminate positions in our corporate functions in connection with the pending distribution of shares of our subsidiary, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., to our stockholders by the end of the year," Motorola said in the filing.

Motorola also revealed that it sold $218m worth of Nextel Communication shares.

Motorola has been working steadily to regain lost ground in the handset market. The cuts, however, clearly do the most to help out the bottom line. The 1,000 workers make up close to 1 percent of Motorola's staff. ®

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