Moto’s Slow Death By RAZR Cuts

Motorola has announced the spinout of its handset division, continuing a history of divesting itself from troubled business lines and isolating its potentially attractive networking and equipment business for a future buyer.

Details about the spinout are few and far between, but Greg Brown, Motorola’s CEO, plans to stay with the network and equipment division, which posted profits of $192 million in the set-top-box arena and profits of $451 million in the two-way radio and scanning divisions last quarter. A new CEO is being sought for the handset unit, which lost $388 million last quarter. The key question of who will get the Motorola brand is uncertain, but I think it should probably go to the handset business, if only because it’s the most consumer-facing one. (I will miss my Moto walkie-talkies, though.)

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