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Motorola to cut co-CEO pay, freeze 401(k) matches for workers

The co-CEOs will take a 25% cut in base pay

By Grant Gross
December 17, 2008 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - Motorola Inc. will cut the 2009 salaries of its co-CEOs, suspend matching contributions to employee 401(k) retirement accounts and freeze its pension plans in an effort to reduce costs, the company announced Wednesday.

Motorola said it will permanently freeze its U.S. pension plans as of March 1. Vested pension benefits accrued by employees and retirees will still be available, but the company will no longer pay future benefits, it said. Motorola plans to continue to meet its current pension obligations.

Motorola previously announced cost-cutting measures expected to save $800 million on Oct. 30, the same day the company reported a quarterly net loss of $397 million.

The suspension of 401(k) matching funds will become effective on Jan. 1. U.S. employees can continue to contribute to their 401(k) accounts, but their contributions will not be matched.

In addition, co-CEOs Greg Brown and Sanjay Jha will voluntarily take a 25% cut in their base salaries. Brown had his base salary increased from $950,000 to $1.2 million in January. Jha, named co-CEO in August after leaving Qualcomm Inc., also has a base salary of $1.2 million, according to reports.

Brown will also voluntarily pass up any 2008 cash bonuses earned under the Motorola incentive plan. Jha's employment contract reportedly provides for a $2.4 million guaranteed cash bonus for 2008. His bonus will also be voluntarily reduced by an amount equal to Brown's forfeited bonus, and the remainder will be taken in the form of restricted stock units, the company said.

"The sustained downturn in the global economy requires that we take these difficult but necessary steps," Brown and Jha said in a statement. "While serving our customers remains a top priority, we are equally focused on our cost structure, and we will continue to implement appropriate measures to conserve cash and reduce expenses."

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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