Former Motorola CFO Takes Off Gloves, Sues for Wrongful Firing

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Early last month Motorola rolled out its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2008, and announced that chief financial officer Paul Liska would be leaving the company. No reason was given for LIska’s departure, although he had been with the company for less than a year, having been brought in to oversee the spinoff of Motorola’s mobile business into a separate company. Due to adverse economic conditions and continues poor performance—meaning, Motorola has no doubt had difficulty attracting buyers—the company has delayed the mobile spinoff and made moved to streamline its mobile business on just three platforms: it’s own P2K, Windows Mobile, and Google’s Android.

However, in a filing last week, Motorola indicated it had terminated Liska “for cause,” meaning Liska walked away without a signing bonus, severance pay, or stock options. Motorola did not specify the cause.

Now, Liksa has filed suit against Motorola, claiming his firing was a “retaliatory discharge.” Retaliatory firings are typically illegal if an employee is fired for performing actions that are deemed to be in the public interest; the laws are designed to shield whistleblowers and other employees for revealing unethical or illegal activities at a company.

Liska’s suit is currently under seal and neither Liska nor Motorola have revealed any details for his claim.

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