Motorola Shuffles the Deck, Again


Motorola is realigning its Home & Networks Mobility unit into three product groups.

It was just a year ago that Motorola merged its wireless-infrastructure unit into the former Connected Home Solutions division to create an operating unit focused on all network service provider customers. 

Under the new structure, the cable and video CPE products group will be headed by John Burke, who is currently senior vice president and general manager of digital video solutions, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported the changes Monday based on an internal memo circulated last week.

One of the alleged reasons for the 2007 reorg, as outlined by Dan Moloney, the guy they put in charge of the agglomeration, was that MSOs are looking at entering the wireless business. Indeed they are, as evidenced by the Comcast and Time Warner Cable venture with Clearwire

"It’s not a wireless world and a wired world," Moloney told me last fall. "It’s a blended world. As a consumer, you’re interested in getting what you want, where and when you want it, without worrying about being tethered to a particular network."

That’s still the strategy on the access side. Moloney, for now, will be in charge of the broadband access business, which includes WiMax and LTE. Dan Coombes, who was senior vice president for wireless broadband systems, will become an adviser to Moloney, the Journal reported. The third division will comprise traditional cellular network equipment sold to telecom carriers. 

What’s behind this latest change? The Journal suggested splitting up Home & Networks Mobility would give Motorola the flexibility to sell those individual units.

When Motorola reports second quarter earnings Thursday, the company is expected to provide an update on its plans to split into two companies — spinning off the money-losing mobile devices unit — a move pushed by Carl Icahn.

Motorola’s memo to employees describing the Home & Networks Mobility restructuring said the move was being made "to position our business for continued success over the next five years." 

Which was pretty much the rationale Dan Moloney offered 12 months ago for the original combination of those disparate units.