Motorola's cell phone handset business won't be sold, but Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility Unit will be split in three as Motorola tries to revive business: television set-top boxes and modems; carrier-class wireless equipment; and next-generation wireless equipment, including WiMax and LTE. Motorola's cell phone handset division won't face a selloff for another year.
Motorola's cell phone handset division was expected to be first to face
changes in Motorola's drive to revive slipping sales and revenue, but
Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility unit will in fact be the first.
Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility unit, Motorola's second-largest
division after the cell phone business, will be split into three units:
television set-top boxes and modems; carrier-class wireless equipment; and
next-generation wireless equipment, including WiMax and LTE.
The flagging cell phone handset division won't face a spinoff for another
year, according to published reports.
Wall Street Journal
reported July 26 that John Burke, the current head of
Motorola's cable business, will run the cable equipment division while Motorola
Senior Vice President Fred Wright will lead the cellular wireless business. Dan
Moloney, who currently runs the entire Home & Networks Mobility unit, will
run the new next-generation division until a permanent head is announced.
The announcement comes just days before Motorola's second-quarter earnings report
on July 31. Hamstrung by plummeting handset sales, Motorola
officials predicted April 24
that second-quarter losses would be wider than
In a conference call, Motorola CEO Greg
Brown predicted that the company's expected spinoff of the handheld division is
not likely to happen until 2009. Chief Financial Officer Paul Liska said
Motorola will continue to cut costs this year, with expenses expected to fall
by $540 million compared with 2007.
Brown first mentioned spinning off the handset unit shortly after taking
over for former CEO Ed Zander in January.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who unsuccessfully tried to gain a seat on the
Motorola board in 2007, has been pressuring the company to dump its handset
division for more than a year.
In March, Brown said Motorola was launching a process to create two
independent, publicly traded companies. To avoid a proxy fight with Icahn,
Motorola's single largest shareholder, the company agreed to seat two Icahn
associates on the board and to seek input from Icahn about the future of
Motorola's mobile phone division. The agreement also dismisses all litigation
between Icahn and Motorola.
After introducing the successful RAZR model in 2004,
Motorola has struggled to launch another hit cell phone, driving it from the
No. 2 spot among dominant handset makers. Nokia and Samsung are now the top two