NEW YORK – Google Inc. is making its largest round of layoffs ever as it announced plans to cut about 4,000 jobs at Motorola Mobility just three months after buying the struggling cellphone pioneer.
The move isn’t surprising given years of plummeting sales at Motorola, but it signals that Google doesn’t intend to drag Motorola along as a money-losing venture.
After the announcement, Google’s stock rose $18.01, or 2.8 percent, to close Monday at $660.01.
The reductions represent about 20 percent of Motorola Mobility’s 20,000 employees and 7 percent of Google’s overall workforce.
Google says two-thirds of the job cuts will take place outside of the U.S.
Google, which has been growing for more than a decade, doesn’t have a history of mass layoffs. In previous rounds of layoffs, Google at most had cut a few hundred workers.
Motorola, however, cut thousands of jobs in recent years as its cellphone division saw sales plummet. Although it pioneered the U.S. cellphone industry in the 1980s, it hasn’t produced a mass-market hit since it introduced the Razr cellphone in 2004. Once the second-largest phone maker in the world, Motorola no longer ranks in the top 5.
Motorola now makes phones that run on Google’s Android operating software, but rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. have been more successful at it.
Motorola split into two in early 2011. Google snapped up Motorola Mobility, the half that makes cellphones and cable set-top boxes, for $12.4 billion. Motorola Solutions, which makes police scanners and other professional products, remains a separate company.
Google’s chief goal in buying Motorola was to use its large patent portfolio.