Light Reading
There's a lot of Google influence and no sign of Lenovo in Moto's new 75,000-square-foot headquarters in downtown Chicago.
SlideshowSlide Show: Moto Mobility's New Chicago Digs
Sarah Reedy
4/22/2014
100%
0%

Two years after Google announced it would move Motorola Mobility's headquarters to downtown Chicago, the handset company is finally opening the doors to its sprawling new digs.

But a lot has changed since the big move was announced. After acquiring the struggling handset maker for $12.5 billion in 2012, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) announced in January that it was selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo Group Ltd. (Hong Kong: 992) for $2.9 billion. (See Google Closes $12.5B Motorola Deal and Lenovo to Buy Motorola From Google?)

The acquisition will probably close in the coming months, but in the meantime, Moto's new pad is all Google, from the layout to the art to the game room. Light Reading was on hand for the grand opening festivities on Tuesday. Click the image below to start your personal tour of the 75,000-square-foot facility on the Chicago river.

Meet the New Moto
Local graffiti artists inked up the Merchandise Mart to give itthe Google-esque vibe Moto was seeking.
Local graffiti artists inked up the Merchandise Mart to give it
the Google-esque vibe Moto was seeking.

The company has moved 2,000 employees from its previous headquarters 40 miles away in Libertyville, Ill., to the new spot in Chicago's Merchandise Mart, not far from where the company was founded more than 80 years ago.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who addressed reporters at the official grand opening Tuesday, said that Google wasn't deciding between Libertyville and Chicago for Moto's headquarters. It was Chicago or Silicon Valley. He is making a big push to make Chicago the digital destination.

Motorola's huge presence in the city will be a big boon to that, provided nothing changes under Lenovo's ownership. The Chinese company will take over the lease as part of its acquisition, but the building is clearly a product of Google's ownership, at least for now. And Google itself sets up shop nearby Moto's new digs, though the company plans to move to the city's West Loop next year.

Motorola has struggled to compete in the handset market in recent years, including under Google's wing, but President Rick Osterloh pointed out that it managed to ship 6.5 million devices in the first quarter, a 31% increase from the previous quarter and a 61% increase from a year earlier. It's also betting big on wearables with its new smartwatch, the Moto 360.

"This move comes at a very meaningful time for us," Osterloh said. "We are, as Motorola, really changing. In a similar way to how Chicago is going through a dramatic transformation, Motorola is going through a dramatic transformation."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(11)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/30/2014 | 8:37:30 PM
Re: Re. Rooftop
Ok, I'm just going to point out that it's not lost on me that you have become Light Reading's "Person to Go Visit Cool Work Sites." 

I don't know what to say about that, other than "Jealous."  

And, I'm hoping that this post hasn't blown your cover and you're able to go tour many more.
mdraz
50%
50%
mdraz,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/26/2014 | 8:26:53 PM
Re: Re. Rooftop
@eurichardson and @sarahreedy - if you just gave that employee the bad review - depending on how bad it was - you actually might not mind having them on the roof! just a little dark humor for the weekend  ;-) 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/24/2014 | 2:12:35 PM
Re: Re. Rooftop
haha good point. Although reviews or any meetings on the roof during the summer would be just lovely.
eurichardson
50%
50%
eurichardson,
User Rank: Light Bulb
4/24/2014 | 2:10:00 PM
Re. Rooftop
You don't want an employee who just got a poor annual performance review on the rooftop.
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/23/2014 | 3:42:24 PM
Re: Food glorious food
The theory with regard to gamerooms is that employees can discuss business problems while they're playing. Or blow off steam while their subconscious works on problems. Or something like that. 

As for the amenities, it keeps employees from having to go off-campus and allows them to devote more time to work. Need to exercise? Your office has as gym right there. Why go home to eat? We've got better food here.

The writer John Scalzi worked for AOL in the 90s, then left and started a career as a successful science fiction writer and blogger. In that capacity, he was asked to speak at Google, and got the tour. They proudly showed him the luxury amenities -- spa, gourmet cafeteria, all that -- and were chagrined when he said, yeah, we had all that at AOL. _Sic transit gloria mundi._  
SarahReedy
100%
0%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/23/2014 | 2:57:27 PM
Re: Food glorious food
Yeah, snacks and problem solving are not mutually exclusive! But if you visited any of these startup type places, you'd think the key to attracting talent was cool amentities and game rooms, which seems counterproductive. But, I'm sure there are studies that prove me wrong. Google's built its business on it after all. 
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/23/2014 | 2:55:32 PM
Food glorious food
Needs more food photos.

I want the job of testing phones to see if they can be destroyed. I'd be very good at it.

"Smart people don't care about snacks. They care about working on important problems"? What, you can't have a snack while working on important problems? Albert Einstein never had a nosh?

I love the cover on the notebook the bowtie-wearing guy is using. It seems to be something like this. Very nice!
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/23/2014 | 11:18:54 AM
Re: Bob Galvin
Which part is the indignity?
Duh!
50%
50%
Duh!,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 11:11:30 AM
Bob Galvin
Bob must be spinning in his grave.  One more indignity piled on the remains of a once-great company.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/22/2014 | 6:39:46 PM
The Lenovo effect
Interesting that there was very little mention of Google today and absolutely no mention of Lenovo. I asked our tour guide, who is with the architecture firm that designed it, and he said there have been discussions with Moto's new parent about what kind of presence and influence they want to have on the HQ, but nothing concrete yet. My biggest concern would be what influence they want on the size of it and if they'd plan to downsize or relocate at all. I hope not!
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Connecticut Cities Crowdsource Gigabit Nets
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/15/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed