Motorola Essay

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Motorola  is an  American  multinational  enterprise specializing in telecommunications and related technologies. The company is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, and has used the name Motorola as its trademark  since the 1930s.

Motorola was founded in 1928 by Paul and Joseph Galvin under  the name Galvin Manufacturing  Corporation.  The company  started  out  as a manufacturer  and  seller  of car  radios—or  motorolas.  The name Motorola came about as a creative compilation of the words motor and radiola, and was meant  to suggest sound in motion. It became so popular that the corporation changed its name to Motorola, Inc., just a few years after it was established. Currently, the company produces and markets a wide variety of products, including but not limited to mobile phones, laptop  computers,  computer  processors,  and radio communication devices. Motorola  caters  its products and services not only to individual consumers but also to corporations,  government entities, developers, and service providers. One of its most recent consumer  products,  Motorola RAZR, sold over 110 million units by the middle of the first decade of this century, propelling the company to the number  two mobile-phone  producer  slot, behind Finnish multinational giant Nokia.

In general, Motorola positions itself as a company that  thrives on “engineering intelligence with style.” The company especially emphasizes its customer orientation in the opening statement,  which reflects both  Motorola’s vision and  mission,  posted  on  the company’s Web site. It reads:

We’re artists. We’re scientists. Most of all, we are a global communications leader, powered by, and driving, seamless mobility. Motorola is revolutionizing broadband,  embedded  systems and wireless networks—bringing    cutting-edge    technologies into your everyday life, with style.

Throughout its existence, Motorola has experienced  numerous  ups and  downs, related  mainly to rapid changes in both the telecommunication industry and the external business environment; in the past several years, the company  has been going through rather tough times. For instance, some of Motorola’s large projects—like Iridium, a company that was aiming at creating  the first truly global communication network—have been derailed due to miscalculated demand.  Further  declines in the telecommunication industry  worldwide in 2001–03 forced Motorola  to spin off its U.S. government-related business and its semiconductor product  division into  separate  legal and business entities. The sales of its flagship product, the RAZR, also decreased immensely by the last quarter of 2006. These developments forced the company to begin major  cost-cutting  and  restructuring activities in 2007 that were mainly aimed at closures of various  sites  worldwide  and  sell-off of noncore business units. Overall, in 2007 Motorola reported  a whopping 84 percent decrease in profits compared to a year before.

Motorola’s  current  financial woes are continuing to worry company’s investors. Despite solid sales of about  $7.45 billion in the  first quarter  of 2008, the worldwide operations  suffered a loss of $194 million. The company explains such an unfavorable figure by a 39 percent  decrease in the sales of mobile devices. Motorola’s other  divisions, however, are once again showing strong financial results—both Home and Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility Solutions businesses continue  to expand their solution portfolios and grow internationally. In another development in early spring  2008, Motorola’s board  of directors announced  a split of the company into two separate publicly traded companies: Motorola Mobile Devices and Motorola  Broadband  & Mobility Solutions. The split is expected to be approved by regulators sometime in 2009.

In  spite  of financial  tribulations,  Motorola  confirms its strong commitment to both corporate social responsibility and corporate  citizenship. In the latest survey  conducted   by the  Corporate   Responsibility Officer—aimed to emphasize  the corporate  responsibility  efforts  of  large,  high-impact   corporations in eight different categories that include Climate Change,  Employee  Relations,  Environment,  Financial, Governance, Human Rights, Lobbying, and Philanthropy—Motorola was named among the top 100 U.S.-based multinationals,  a fact the company is taking much pride in. Motorola  is also among very few companies in the world that earned a maximum rating of 100 percent in corporate equality, an index that rates employers on a scale from 0 to 100 percent  on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees, consumers, and investors.


  1. Corporate Responsibility  Officer, (cited March 2009);
  2. CRO’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens,  (cited  March  2009);
  3. Human Rights Campaign, (cited March 2009);
  4. Market Watch,   (cited  March  2009);
  5. Motorola Corporate  Web site,  (cited March 2009);
  6. Motorola—Financial Results,  (cited March 2009).

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