There seems to be a lot of turmoil going on at Motorola’s Chicago headquarters, as rumors began swirling that over 50% of its engineering workforce had gotten laid off a few days ago. This was then refuted by Lenovo, after which a new report came out claiming that the Moto X line was dead.
There’s a lot to parse through, so let’s start with the layoff speculation. An ex-employee started the ball rolling with a post on anonymous site TheLayoff in which they claimed that 50% of Motorola’s Chicago staff was being let go and their last day of work would be April 6.
The poster didn’t provide any proof of their assertions. There have been reports about the dire situation facing Lenovo as both its smartphone division, which includes Motorola, and its computer business are struggling to make profits over the past few years.
Lenovo later issued a statement on the matter claiming that the scale of the rumors was false. It is in fact reducing its Motorola staff in Chicago, but not by 50%. It’s also confirmed that the Moto Z family of handsets will continue, contrary to reports suggesting otherwise.
The firing is apparently part of a larger round of layoffs affecting 2% of Lenovo’s global workforce. Meanwhile, back in rumor land, a source told Android Police that the downsizing of the engineering team at Motorola had forced the company to abandon plans for the Moto X5.
The Moto X5 hit the limelight back in January this year, but it looks like it’ll be staying in the shadows for the foreseeable future. Even the Moto Mods are in jeopardy as the brand is supposedly going to abandon the more experimental ones and focus on the models which can actually sell such as battery packs and style mods.
Motorola now plans to focus on the Moto E, Moto G, and Moto Z lineup. Quite a few of these phones are coming up in 2018, but it remains to be seen whether all this will be enough to turn a profit.