Google this evening confirmed in an SEC filing that it plans to cut some 4,000 employees from the recent acquisition of Motorola -- about a fifth of the company's workforce. And it's going to cost Google some cash to do so -- to the tune of $275 million, and Google expects most of that charge to be taken in the third quarter. Google says it plans to close some 30 facilities as well, and "simplify its mobile product portfolio, shifting the emphasis from feature phones to more innovative and profitable devices."
The New York Times first reported the planned downsizing on Monday.
Shedding 4,000 bodies and 30 buildings won't immediately turn things around, though. Google correctly notes that Motorola has lost money 14 out of the last 16 quarters -- that's all but six months in the last four years -- and that while these cuts are a "key step" on the road to profitability, "investors should expect to see significant revenue variability ... for several quarters."
This affects real people, of course. Google says "generous" severance packages will be provided, as well as job placement services. Regardless, that's still 20 percent of Motorola work force that's about to be out of work. But if there's a company willing to treat layoffs with a little dignity, we're willing to bet it's Google.