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Payroll Axe Falls At Motorola

Motorola Inc. announced Tuesday it is cutting another 9,400 jobs, or more than 8 percent of its work force, in a push to return to profitability in 2002.

The cell phone and semiconductor maker has now slashed 32 percent of its work force — a total of 48,400 jobs — since it stood at 150,000 worldwide in August 2000.

The long-troubled tech giant said it remains on track to achieve the fourth-quarter results it forecast two months ago but said its loss will be greater than expected in the first quarter of next year.

The latest round of job cuts, to be made over the course of the next year, include 4,000 from its semiconductor operations, 1,300 from its equipment manufacturing businesses and another 4,100 distributed companywide.

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Company spokesman Scott Wyman said the cuts will take place across all Motorola's businesses and most geographical regions where it operates, including its headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. He declined to be more specific.

Motorola, the world's No. 2 cellphone manufacturer and also a leading computer chip maker, disclosed the cuts while confirming it is headed toward a fourth straight quarter in the red in the current three-month period, with operating losses about the same as estimated in October.

It warned it now anticipates a loss of 11 to 14 cents a share in the first quarter. A consensus of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call had pegged that loss at 5 cents.

Christopher Galvin, chairman and chief executive officer, said he regretted the continuing layoffs but sees them as necessary for a "leaner, more flexible and more profitable company" in an unpredictable global environment.

He said the current "extraordinary" technology cycle "when coupled with the overall softening of the global economy, dictates that the company must continue to improve its oveall efficiency and competitiveness in order to return to profitability."

He said he was pleased with the progress Motorola is making in its long-slumping cellphone business but is forced to remain conservative going into 2002. The company expects to be profitable for the full year next year, he said.

Before the announcement, Motorola's shares closed up 34 cents Wednesday at $16.61 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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