Americans love a good comeback, whether it's the Steelers pulling off a Super Bowl win in the final minute or Mickey Rourke snagging an Oscar nomination for The Wrestler. But for U.S. corporations, clawing your way back to the top is harder than ever.
For once-mighty Motorola
That leaves Motorola (Stock Quote: MOT) with some tough choices. When your business is on life support, layoffs and budget cuts alone don't cut it. Like Motorola, you may be forced to re-evaluate your entire business model, shedding units and products that don't measure up.
A decade ago, Motorola seemed perfectly positioned to take advantage of the booming cell-phone business. For years, its Razr was the best-selling handset in the U.S. But this week, Motorola announced that fourth-quarter sales fell 26% from a year earlier. Cell-phone sales dropped by half.
At the high end of the market, Motorola's designs didn't keep up with consumer expectations, and the game-changing iPhone set back the company further. Motorola also got squeezed out by competitors at the lower end, where the cell-phone business had the most potential for growth globally.