Liska claimed in a court filing unsealed Thursday that his firing was a retaliation for warning the company’s board of directors that Motorola’s ailing mobile division was “intentionally or recklessly, materially misstating its 2009 forecasts and strategic plan.”
But as Moto tells the story, Liska was a “treacherous officer” who caught wind management was displeased with his performance and concocted a “extortion-like scheme designed to portray himself as a whistle blower and demand millions in return for his silence.”
The ex-executive filed suit against Motorola late February in Cook Country Circuit Court, Illinois. His claims, in which parts are redacted, says Motorola’s Mobile Devices executives were giving forecasts “based on inaccurate or unsupportable financial assumptions.”
Liska apparently confronted Motorola’s board of directors over the division’s flawed forecasts and claimed he was “worried” the unit didn’t have a full 2009 business plan by the company’s December 15 board meeting.
The company announced Liska’s dismissal on February 3, 2009 as part of a quarterly earnings call. Later in an SEC filing, Motorola claimed the sacking was due to “serious misconduct and incompetence.”
Liska the former CFO files a whistle blower suit. Motorola defends of course. What’s the problem? Well if you have lived through or observed a bad divorce then you know what is in store, none of it good. Most likely the SEC will be sniffing around to see if any of the allegations are true. The fact is Motorola really can’t afford the distraction right now. They have enough issues on their own to deal with.
However the whole affair shows that there is miscommunication at the top of the food chain at Moto.
Even in the wireless sector right now there are winners and losers due to the economic conditions. We have known for some time that Moto was having difficulties. This results confirms it –
The fact that nobody seems to want a Motorola phone these days wasn’t terrific for the handset maker’s bottom line in 2008.
Motorola reported today that it shipped 19.2 million handsets in the fourth quarter last year. That’s 6.2 million units fewer than it did the previous quarter and 16.3 million fewer than the same quarter in 2007.
Along with the gloomy results, the company also booted its financial chief Paul Liska, who had been with Moto for less than a year. Moto tapped senior veep Edward Fitzpatrick to fill the CFO role until it finds a permanent replacement.
In two years, Moto’s share of the global market has fallen from 23 per cent to just 6.5 per cent, according to industry bean-counter Technology Business Research. Problem is that the Illinois-based company hasn’t had a popular handset since the Razr, which debuted more than three years ago. The global recession certainly isn’t helping its ailing coffers either.
I find it odd they offed the CFO. He’s generally just the messenger of doom and its the COO that gets the axe. Odd indeed.
Motorola in these economic times has instituted a series of cuts all the up to the CEO’s. Yes Virginia, they have two, go figure. –
Motorola Inc. said today it would freeze pension plans and some salaries and suspend company contributions to employees’ 401(k) plans. The company’s co-CEOs said they would take a 25% cut in base salary.
The company gave no dollar figure for the magnitude of the resulting savings, but said the steps were in addition to $800 million in annual savings announced in October.
Not singling out Moto here. The other CPE mfrs are doing the same. People are not upgrading. Staying pat with their current handheld. How long this will last is anyone’s guess.
… $2000 for this cellphone? Well there appears to be a very big world market, $11b, for high priced cellphones. Guess it makes sense. The high priced Rolex wristwatch market is crumbling. –
The launch’s timing aside — for many, the price tag may clash a bit with headlines of financial disasters sweeping the globe — the Aura appeared to reflect Motorola’s determination to make a design-oriented comeback of sorts.
No word yet on the device’s sales channel. But don’t expect it to turn up at one of the major carriers. Most luxury phones are sold through specialty stores or high-end department stores.
Indeed, the luxury phone segment is projected to garner as much as $11 billion by next year, according to ABI Research. That figure is expected to nearly quadruple in five years, the market research firm reported in August.
The profitable, luxury handset market already is being exploited by Motorola’s rival, Nokia Corp., whose luxury-line subsidiary, Vertu, is long established. Motorola, in fact, has already dabbled in the sector with a gold-plated Dolce & Gabbana Razr v3i, which sold at about $300 at the height of Razr-mania. In many cases, handset vendors have teamed with established luxury brands to include mobile phones in the latter’s product lines. (The LG Prada is an example.)
Nice I guess if you have funny money lying around to spend.
Endless convulsing seems to be the only constant under Moto’s new management. A split between carrier and consumer device businesses made a lot of sense same time ago, and now it’s actually so. I wonder if both of Moto’s businesses would not be in better shape now if this had been done while business was still very good.
The suburban Chicago-based cell phone maker has been under pressure from billionaire investor Carl Icahn for changes meant to revitalize its cell-phone business. The cell phone unit has seen its sales and stock price plummet with the company unable to produce second act to the once-popular Razr phone.
Another good outcome could be Carl Ican making enough money to go away. While he may be very good at shaking up complacent management, he’s not been good for companies he’s stayed involved with over the long term.
Here’s a prediction. Open networks, open source software and surplus Chinese manufacturing capacity from the economic slowdown will commoditize handset business very quickly. Facing increased competition, and investor pressure, Moto may be exiting the business. I think they are also acutely aware of the coming market changes.
The company, which practically invented the cell phone market in the ’80s, is considering spinning off its beleaguered handset business in an effort to revive the business, Motorola said Thursday.
In a press release, the company said it was considering a “structural realignment” to kick-start its mobile-device business, which has seen its global market share plunge to 12 percent from more than 20 percent market share a year ago. The main problem has been Motorola’s inability to come up with new handsets to follow the once highly popular Razr.
Last week, the company told investors it would take longer than expected to turn around its troubled cell phone business. And it warned that revenue and market share would likely decline further in the first quarter. (from Cnet)