Morning Coffee Aug 13 2012

Google Lays off 4,000 at Motorola

By Joseph Walker

It's been less than three months since Google formally took over Motorola Mobility, but it's moving quickly to put its stamp on the company. Executives at the the Libertyville, Ill. cellphone maker told employees yesterday it would lay off 20% of its 20,300 staff members and close a third of its 94 global offices, the New York Times reports.

Motorola says the cuts are necessary to return the company to profitability. "Motorola is committed to helping them through this difficult transition and will be providing generous severance packages, as well as outplacement services to help people find new jobs," a spokesperson tells AllThingsD.

About one-third of the 4,000 layoffs will affect workers in the U.S. Those that remain will work at a dramatically different company. Not only will the company cease making feature phones, it's also going to cut its product line from 27 to just a handful, the Times reports. Research and development will be spread among Chicago, Sunnyvale, Calif. and Beijing as offices in Asia and India are diminished.

The reorganization has already resulted in 40% of Motorola vice presidents getting the boot. Among the new managers that Google has installed is Regina Dugan, the former head of Darpa, the Defense Department's research arm. She's hiring a crack team of metal scientists, acoustics engineers and artificial intelligence experts, the Times reports, but they'll stay with the company for just two years to give their turnaround efforts an institutional sense of urgency.

Bye Bye (AllThingsD)

Yahoo's longtime head of human resources, David Windley, is out. Windley presided over a brain drain that saw many of the company's best technologists leave.

Change of Plan (WSJ)

Google is altering its search algorithms to push pirated links to the bottom of its results. The move is being applauded by content creators, but it may also create a backlash among users.

Openings (Instagram)

Mobile photo sharing service Instagram is hiring mobile, data and operations engineers. The company, which was acquired by Facebook some months back, is still independent as it waits for the acquisition to close.

Clashing (WSJ)

Arguing with your boss could be the best career move you ever make. Management experts say that standing up for what you believe is a sign of integrity and intelligence.

Playing Around (CNNMoney)

Welcome to Microsoft's "Garage," a makeshift workshop where employees can go to tinker around and build new things. It's the Redmond, Wash. company's version of Google's 20% time.

Vote of Confidence (WSJ)

Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings has bought $1 million worth of stock in Facebook, where he is also a board member.

Big Data's Story (NYT)

Big Data is having its moment, with start-ups, the World Economic Forum and even the U.S. federal government getting in on the trend. While some computer scientists initially derided the term as a marketing phrase, everyone is starting to admit that it really does have a hook to it.

Parting Shots (NYT)

It used to be that a fired worker went to a bar to drown his sorrows and spill his guts. These days, folks just take to Twitter or Facebook.

Buzz Around the Office

The Hamburglar (MSN)

A 12-year-old who was flipping burgers to raise money for World War II vets was fined $170 by a local health inspector for not having a permit to sell food.

List of the Day: Olympic Rules

Career lessons that can be learned from gymnastics.

1. You can't stick every landing.

2. Even if you're talented, you still need practice.

3. Success takes time

(Source: The Daily Muse)

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