The sale of Motorola Mobility by Google to Lenovo is making headlines everywhere, while being dissected by journalists and business analysts as well. Out of that dissection, we get info about how the sale will directly affect consumers, what this will mean for Motorola devices in the future, and where money was lost and gained. There is however one aspect of the sale that has answers but many people are still skeptical, that is how the sale will affect the employees of Motorola Mobility In the US. Lenovo is a well established company formed in China but has headquarters around the world. Motorola however, is a more local brand than you may have realised. Motorola is based in Illinois, and has manufacturing all done here in the US. One of the most popular manufacturing plants, the one responsible for the customization options of the Moto X, is actually in Texas, and ran by a company called Flextronics.
On the more business side of things, there are the Motorola Mobility bigwigs, who are based in Illinois. Altogether there are over 4,000 employees who are directly employed by Motorola. The question we are left with,is what about them? What will happen to the job market that depends on that manufacturing? As of right now there is little to go on, there have been statements made, but for some reason they give off a feeling more like PR responses rather than a feeling of assurance. Lenovo currently has a hand in the US job market, mainly in Whitsett, NC, where there are 115 employees working in manufacturing. Just a short drive away in Raleigh, NC,is where you will find Lenovo North America headquarters, with around 2,200 employees. There are certainly more than that around the US, but this means little to Motorola Mobility, save for the fact that it gives hope. Hope that Lenovo does believe in manufacturing in the US, rather than overseas, where it is certainly cheaper. Lenovo officials have only said that they do not plan on a revamp of the employee roster, nor do they plan on doing anything to take away from Motorola, instead, they only want to grow the brand. However, when directly asked about jobs, they only said they will do whatever it takes to “grow the brand.” That could mean anything from layoffs to hiring, to moving manufacturing overseas. That’s why the skepticism is still alive in this aspect of the sale.
Flextronics CEO, Mike McNamara, did however say a bit more, “there are now no plans to change Motorola’s approach to manufacturing.” The word we pay attention to most in that statement is, “now,” which gives off more of uncertainty from McNamara. The only reason why McNamara is a bit more optimistic than most, is because his company, Flextronics, has done the manufacturing for both Motorola and Lenovo. Meaning they already have a relationship going with Lenovo. One last public statement that could calm the nerves, was made by Lenovo CEO, Yang Yuanqing. During US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union, one topic covered was the job market in the US. In response to that, Yuanqing said that his company has invested over $6 billion in that very same US market. However, he didn’t say if that investment was going to stay here in the US. No one can really tell just yet, what will happen to the jobs after this sale. All we can really do is add this topic to the hope pile, along with the hope for great phones, and hope for great pricing, hope for great software support, and now, hope for jobs. What is it you are hoping for with this acquisition?