Lenovo buying Motorola Mobility from Google Inc.

John Pletz

Published: January 30, 2014 11:53 am ET
Updated: January 30, 2014 11:59 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Electronics

That silence you heard Jan. 29 wasn't the cold snap breaking, but Chicago holding its breath when Motorola Mobility said it is being sold by Google Inc. to Chinese electronics maker Lenovo.

The sale announcement comes as Motorola is just weeks away from moving more than 2,000 workers into Chicago's Merchandise Mart and becoming the biggest tech employer in the city.

It also comes about a year after Motorola and its manufacturing partner – Flextronics International Ltd. – opened a plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to assemble Motorola's plastic bodied smartphone the Moto X.

But the Chinese electronics manufacturer says Motorola's move from north suburban Libertyville will be completed before the $2.9 billion sale is closed, and it doesn't plan to cut jobs after the deal is done. So the immediate impact on jobs and real estate is nil.

"We don't plan to lay off people," Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said during a conference call after the announcement. "They have unique expertise in the smartphone area. Motorola brings a strong brand, brilliant engineering and strong relationships with carriers and retailers."

There's still a blow to the psyche. Lenovo, based in Beijing, doesn't have the cachet of Mountain View, Calif.-based Google. But Motorola and Chicago both could end up better off.

"Lenovo is not anywhere near as sexy as Google is. It's a blow to Chicago's connectivity back to Silicon Valley," said Michael Marasco, director of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Northwestern University. "But Lenovo has a history of thinking long term, and it's a global leader." And through the deal, he notes, Chicago's tech community achieves greater "connectivity into Asia, which is a bigger market."

For more about the deal and what analysts say this could mean for Motorola, check out Crain's Chicago Business, a sister publication of Plastics News at www.chicagobusiness.com.


Lenovo buying Motorola Mobility from Google Inc.

John Pletz

Published: January 30, 2014 11:53 am ET
Updated: January 30, 2014 11:59 am ET

Post Your Comments

Back to story

More stories


Sabic: Rapid demand growth led to Ultem shortage

December 18, 2014 12:06 pm ET

Sabic Innovative Plastics has been increasing production capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide but it still got caught short by increasing demand for ...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events