Lenovo to shake things up at Motorola, could fire CEO and 20 percent of workforce

Motorola Moto X Style Pure Edition
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
Lenovo posted first quarter results yesterday for the fiscal 2015-2016 year, and the company isn’t pleased with the performance of the Mobile Business Group (MBG). This group now includes Motorola, which was acquired by Lenovo last October.

Motorola shipped 5.9 million smartphones during the quarter, which is a 31 percent decline year-over-year. Lenovo blames this poor performance on increased competition, inventory issues with product development lifecycles, economic issues in Brazil, and an out-of-balance fixed cost structure.

Levnovo reiterated the company’s commitment to getting Motorola profitable within 4-6 quarters from when it closed the acquisition, which would be 2-3 quarters from now.

Lenovo will need to make some big changes for this to happen. The company will restructure MBG by aligning smartphone development, production, and manufacturing to better leverage the relative strengths of Lenovo and Motorola. Motorola will be the focal point for design, development, and manufacturing of smartphones, while MBG will continue to drive the mobile business.

This is good news, since fans of Motorola have been pleased with the direction the company has gone in recent years with customizable hardware and a near stock Android experience. Many feared that Lenovo might interfere with that, but it looks like things will stay the same.

Unfortunately, this simple restructuring won’t be enough, and a shake-up at Motorola might be in the works. According to sources of Phandroid, Lenovo will lay off 20 percent of the workforce. This is expected to include Motorola president and CEO Rick Osterloh, who took over those positions in April 2014.

Apparently Liu Jun, a special consultant to Lenovo chief executive Yang Yuanqing, will take over for Osterloh. What’s interesting here is that Jun was the executive vice president of MBG, but stepped down in June. This tends to suggest that Lenovo was planning Jun’s move to Motorola all along.

The sales downturn is particularly disappointing given that Motorola appeared to be turning things around with the introduction of the Moto X and Moto G in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The Moto X was the first customizable smartphone, and the Moto G quickly became Motorola’s best-selling smartphone largely due to its amazingly low price. Motorola just announced the Moto X Style, Moto X Play, and a new Moto G for 2015.

However, the mobile business climate has become very competitive, and even dominant companies like Apple and Samsung are now vulnerable to the flood of manufacturers making lower-cost phones. This makes it that much more difficult for smaller companies like Motorola to get a leg up.


A ThinkPad tablet with a foldable screen could be in Lenovo’s future

Lenovo may be working on its own version of Project Andromeda. The company is reportedly working on a 13-inch tablet that can fold down to just nine inches for travel by leveraging LG Display's foldable screen technology.

Is the Pixelbook 2 still happening? Here's everything we know so far

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Has the Pixel Slate taken its place? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.

Which is best: The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme or the 15-inch MacBook Pro?

To try and help nail down the best 15-inch laptops in the world, we compared the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. MacBook Pro 15 in a head to head that looked at their power, design, and portability.

Lenovo and Dell make great professional laptops, but who does it best?

Finding the best laptop for professional use at the office, on the move, and at home is no easy task. There's plenty to choose but to find the best of the best, we pitted the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. Dell XPS 15.

How to sell your old Google Pixel or Pixel 2 for the most money

So, it's time for a expensive new smartphone, and you'd like to partially fund the purchase by selling your old Google Pixel. Find all the information you need to get as much money as possible for your Pixel or Pixel 2 here in our guide.

The OnePlus 6T is coming a day earlier, event moved to October 29

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…

Sprint now lets you add Hulu's Live TV service to your unlimited plan

Sprint recently introduced three new data plans to its roster -- Unlimited Basic , Unlimited Plus, and Unlimited Premium. Here, we break down your options to help you decide which one is best for you and your family.

Sams's Club offers $100 gift cards for iPhone XR pre-orders

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.

It’s about time! A USB-C magnetic charger for the Apple Watch has finally arrived

While most of the buzz surrounding Apple has been about the iPhone XR, the company also introduced a new Apple Watch accessory. Starting October 24, a USB-C magnetic charger will be available for purchase.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Product Review

Amazon’s child-friendly tablet is the complete package

Kids are tough on electronics and it’s difficult to police screen time and manage what they’re doing. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition could be the affordable answer to your prayers, with a rugged case and worry-free warranty.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs. P20 Pro: Which 2018 Huawei flagship is best for you?

If you're tempted by Huawei's latest flagship, the Mate 20 Pro, but you're uncertain how it differs from the P20 Pro which Huawei released earlier this year, then we have you covered. Find out exactly what sets these two phones apart.
Product Review

Simple, smart, and affordable, Google’s USB-C earbuds are a must-buy

Google’s follow-up to its wireless Pixel Buds are the wired Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. It’s the simpler route, but the earbuds are still smart, deliver good sound, and -- best of all -- they’re affordable.