Motorola moves two key PR units to downtown Chicago

CHICAGO: Cell phone maker Motorola, trying to spruce up its image with trendy urbanites, is moving two key divisions from the suburbs into the heart of Chicago's business district.

CHICAGO: Cell phone maker Motorola, trying to spruce up its image with trendy urbanites, is moving two key divisions from the suburbs into the heart of Chicago's business district.

Geoffrey Frost, chief brand officer for the company's personal communications sector, is moving his operations - which include PR and marketing for cell phones - to downtown Chicago from Libertyville, IL, a far northern suburb. Also moving is the company's chief cell-phone designer.

Motorola is shifting 75 employees into the city, and plans to expand to a staff of 150 at the new facility, said Jennifer Weyrauch, manager of corporate communications.

The venue change is designed to help Motorola recruit young engineering talent that might not have been lured to the company's suburban headquarters.

The new operation, located on the 26th story of a lakefront office building, will also allow Motorola to display its latest phones for potential customers.

"It's important for us to be down there because some of our key customers are there," Weyrauch said.

Motorola has been trying to revitalize its cell-phone operations in recent years. The company, once known for concentrating on what its engineers wanted rather than on public wishes, has been trying to become more responsive to market demand for phone features as well. It faces major competition from such foreign companies as Nokia and Ericsson.

Cell-phone sales account for about 40% of Motorola's $27 billion in annual revenues.

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