By R. Jai Krishna
NEW DELHI--Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Motorola Mobility hardware unit has indefinitely suspended operations at its phone-manufacturing facility in India and cut 76 jobs there as part of its global cost-reduction program.
Worldwide, the smartphone maker has begun laying off about 1,200 employees, or more than 10% of its headcount, according to a company email seen by The Wall Street Journal, as it continues its efforts to return to profitability.
The India job cuts are part of the global program, a company spokesman said. He refused to provide its total headcount in the country or to say whether it would cut more jobs.
He said the company has suspended production from the end of February at its facility near the southern city of Chennai.
Motorola had set up the facility in 2008. It started cutting operations at the plant after Google acquired Motorola in 2011.
Motorola has been showing operating losses since its $12.50 billion acquisition by Google as its smartphone and tablet market share has waned.
The latest job cuts come on top of a 20% reduction of its workforce that started last August, when it said it would lay off 4,000 employees. As of the end of 2012, Google said Motorola had 11,113 employees, which didn't include the Motorola Home business, which makes television set-top boxes and was sold to Arris Group Inc. (ARRS) for $2.35 billion in December.
The latest round of jobs cuts will affect workers in the U.S., China and India, the company said in its email to employees.
"While we're very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges," the email said. "Our costs are too high, we're operating in markets where we're not competitive and we're losing money."
Google has transferred numerous executives and product managers to help run Motorola with the hope of producing devices which would rival those of Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNHY). At the same time, Google has pledged to not give special advantages to Motorola, which like Samsung uses Google's Android mobile operating software to power its devices.
--Amir Efrati in San Francisco contributed to this article.
Write to R. Jai Krishna at email@example.com
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