Lenovo is close to making Motorola profitable again

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It has been half a year since Lenovo acquired Motorola from Google and CEO Yang Yuanqing says that the company is more than happy with the purchase so far. Speaking in Chicago this week as part of his annual tour of Lenovo’s global operations, Yang reported that Motorola’s plan to return to profitability is right on track and that the company’s business should be fully turned around before the end of the fiscal year.

Six months after buying Motorola Mobility, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing likes what he sees. Yang, who’s in Chicago this week as part of an annual tour of Lenovo’s operations around the globe, said his timetable to return the phone business to profitability still is on target. “We said we want to turn around the business in four to six quarters after we close the acquisition. This is still on track. By end of the (fiscal) year, we should turn around this business,” he told me during an interview at Motorola’s headquarters in the Merchandise Mart. Although Motorola’s phone shipments have been on the rise, fueled by a price-conscious smartphone called the Moto G, it lost money during the two and a half years it was owned by Google. Almost as soon as Beijing-based Lenovo completed the $2.9 billion purchase of Motorola from Google, it reintroduced Motorola phones to China after a two-year absence. Motorola was one of the first cellphones sold in China in the 1990s and still has a strong brand. Yang said Chinese consumers have responded well to Motorola’s relaunch, though he didn’t offer any specifics on sales.

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