Motorola unit to cut jobs
Google’s Motorola Mobility unit will lay off about 1,200 employees, or more than 10 percent of its work force, in a bid to return to profitability, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The Journal said Motorola employees were informed about the latest cuts — which come on top of 4,000 layoffs announced in August last year — via a company e-mail sent this week. “While we’re very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges,” the newspaper quoted the e-mail as saying. “Our costs are too high, we’re operating in markets where we’re not competitive and we’re losing money.” The layoffs will affect workers in the US, China and India, the Journal said.
Pandora Media CEO resigns
Pandora Media’s top executive on Thursday announced plans to step down after the Internet radio giant’s earnings report showed greater losses even as it captured more listeners. Chairman and chief executive Joe Kennedy will continue in his current role until his successor is named, the company said in a statement. In its earnings report, Pandora said it held a record 8 percent of total US radio listeners at the end of its fiscal year in January. The loss in the past quarter widened to US$14.4 million from US$8 million a year earlier, while revenues jumped to US$125 million from US$81 million.
No bonus for Nokia CEO
Nokia, once the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, said on Thursday that chief executive Stephen Elop received no bonus last year, when the company posted huge losses, reducing his overall payslip by 45 percent. According to Nokia’s annual report filed to US stock exchange authorities, Elop’s earnings dropped from 7.995 million euros (US$10.46 million) in 2011 to 4.334 million euros last year. While Elop’s fixed salary increased by 6 percent to 1.08 million euros last year, his performance bonus was reduced to zero from 473,070 euros in 2011. Other forms of remuneration, including deferred compensation, stocks, stock options and benefits, were 50 percent lower than the previous year.
Italy protests plant closure
Italian Minister of Economic Development Corrado Passera criticized a decision by the Bridgestone tire company to close a plant in southern Italy as “serious and without reason.” Passera protested in a letter to the Japanese company, released by the ministry on Thursday, that the company had failed to work with authorities to find another solution. Bridgestone Corp’s European division announced on Tuesday the closure of the passenger car tire production plant near Bari by early next year, citing a slump in demand due to declining auto sales in Europe. The company said demand for tires produced at the plant was down 13 percent last year from 2011, with no prospect for returning to earlier volumes before 2020.
Wholesale market opens
Cuba has opened its first wholesale market to meet the demands of the private sector and state-run companies, the government said on Thursday. The market, open to state enterprise, cooperatives and independent businesses, has been set up on an experimental basis on Isla de la Juventud, Cuba’s second largest island, approximately 130km south of Havana. The market will sell food products, consumer and industrial goods, the government said.