Speaking to Droid-life, both sources inside the company and Motorola itself confirmed today that Lenovo has conducted a brutal round of layoffs at Moto. According to DL, over 50% of Motorola's existing US staff have lost their jobs. A 20-year veteran of the company allegedly posted on Facebook that he had been laid off, so it looks like Lenovo is cutting deep at the device-maker.
One source told them that over 700 employees would be asked to leave of the over 1200 Motorola currently employs. No doubt Lenovo hopes to cut costs by integrating much of Motorola's software and hardware development into its own smartphone unit. Sensible or not, it's still rather sad to watch the once-proud brand slowly be swallowed by The Great Lenovo Monster. The lack of critical or consumer hype around the company's new Moto Z line hasn't helped matters, and while the refreshed Moto G franchise was generally well-received, it's the expensive phones that make the money, and I have a hard time believing the Z series is a runaway sales success.
Motorola was quick to provide a reframe on the news, claiming the layoffs accounted for "less than two percent" of Lenovo's global workforce of 55,000... which really doesn't seem to do anything but make it obvious they don't want to talk about how badly these cuts have gutted Motorola. For its part, Lenovo plans to continue to have Motorola based in Chicago, but the number of employees at Moto are now well into the mid-three-digits.
In 2012, shortly after Google acquired Motorola, Motorola Mobility employed around 20,000 people. After these cuts, it seems that number will be closer to 500 - meaning Motorola Mobility will have lost 97.5% of its workforce over a span of four years.