Motorola, Logica and Irish Economy

RTE, The Idiot, Infactah, and Eirjobs are writing that Motorola all to cut it’s software jobs in Cork.

Motorola Logo

First of all, I’ve been in this sort of ‘waiting for the axe to fall‘ situation and it’s not nice. It’s not nice losing your job, and it’s not nice having to wait 6 months or so until the plant actually shuts down. It’s not nice wondering where the next mortgage payment is coming from.

In my case I was working for Dell in Dublin , when they decided to move their entire Public Sector Sales organisation to the UK (made commercial sense, couldn’t argue with the decision). The worst part was dragging yourself in to work to face your colleagues in an atmosphere of gloom – and this was when everyone was promised (and got) internal transfers.

The Irish Indo (Registration required) is reporting that this will send ‘shockwaves through the Irish software Industry‘. It’s big news , but we’ve been here before and we will be here again. Motorola axed most of it’s radio division in Swords in the late 90’s. Logica (also in the mobile Telecoms area) once employed close to 1000 in the IFSC in Dublin, but are now down to (barely) double digits.

Some anecdoes about the upside of both these major layoffs :

  • A large part of the Motorola management Team ended up working in Navan for Case (the big red tractors). While tractors may not be as sexy as phones (leave a comment if you disagree), they were a key part in getting a new Startup into the area.
  • Most of the Logica people found jobs , after a difficult interim period (this was the dot com crash after all). There now exists a ‘Logica Mafia’ that useful to tap into if want to connect to anybody in the Telecoms – Software development world.

The other interesting thing was the number of people who found jobs outside of the ‘traditional software industries. One team of ten people, had only 2 that were in software development 5 years later. The rest used their redundancy cheque to train as teachers, start their own business , travel to Australia and New Zealand …

Not a nice place to be lads. But it will get better.


  1. My sister took redundancy from Moto only recently and was able to get a job almost immediately. Looks like that was a lucky break for her.

    It’s going to be very hard for 350 people to find tech jobs in Cork. Hopefully if the packages are any good, we’ll see some awesome start-ups rise from the ashes.

    I spotted in the paper over the weekend that Logica were getting rid of their last few people in Ireland.

  2. Conor,

    I didn’t realise that Logica were finally gone – the latest I heard (6 months back) was that they were recruiting again.

    Going to be a stream of Good / hard luck stories coming out of this announcement.

    Losing big companies now (and then) is the deal we signed up to when we courted the US multi-nationals. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier for the people concerned …


  3. I’ve been lucky with US companies but I always hated that uncertainty over whether Ireland was “hot or not” this week.

    The next few months will be hell for those Moto people and here’s hoping they are given the respect and consideration they deserve.

  4. Most of the Time , the ‘Hot or Not’ depends on the Dollar-Euro exchange rate.

    Many forecasters expect the Dollar to weaken against the Euro, making the Irish operations appear more expensive to US Head quarters.

  5. Will,

    I’m about as tactful as a bull in a China shop, so anything I say is likely to make things worse!

    Only thought is don’t jump from frying pan into the fire – i.e. don’t panic and take the first offer that comes up. Or at least be aware of what you are doing (e.g. you’re only taking something as an interim measure)


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