Motorola (NYSE: MOT) said in mid-January that it expects to cut another 4,000 jobs, and today we learned that two of the employees let go are vice presidents of the mobile-devices division. The WSJ reported that according to sources, the latest round of cuts include longtime Mobile Device VPs Yvonne Verse, who handled strategic partnerships, business development and intellectual property, and Tracey Koziol, in charge of product development. The two executives couldn’t be reached for comment, and the WSJ said Motorola declined to comment on specific job cuts, saying “employees at all levels of the organization will be impacted.” A Motorola spokeswoman didn’t return our emails seeking comment.
These cutbacks, and others recently, are starting to raise concerns about Motorola’s commitment to turning around its struggling mobile-devices division, and in particular whether it will have enough firepower to focus on high-end handsets. Last week, Motorola said it would eliminate 77 employees who were working on the Windows Mobile operating system. Telecom analyst Ittai Kidron of Oppenheimer & Co. said: “The key question is: How many resources do you need to be a small, nimble and more focused player? Probably less than in the past, when they had to be everything to everyone.” Motorola will release its fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow, and host a conference call at 8 a.m. ET. The company warned on Jan. 14 that sales were adversely impacted by consumer weakness, and that it expects a net loss from continuing operations in the range of 7 cents to 8 cents a share. In the fourth quarter, it shipped about 19 million units.