Motorola is laying off 1,000 employees in conjunction with its upcoming chip unit spin-off and ongoing efforts to reduce operating costs, the company said Tuesday in a regulatory filing.

The communication technologies company said it will take a charge of $50 million to cover severance benefits. The job cuts will eliminate corporate positions connected with the separation of Motorola's semiconductor products group, now operating independently as Freescale Semiconductor. Also affected by the cuts are Motorola's commercial, government and industrial solutions business; its integrated electronic systems group; its broadband communications unit, and assorted corporate functions, Motorola said.

Motorola ended 2003 with 88,000 employees worldwide, down 9 per cent from the 97,000 employees it had a year earlier. In the first six months of this year, it laid off 1,900 people.

The staffing changes are part of Motorola's strategy to reverse several years of losses and focus on what it describes as its core competency, providing "seamless mobility." Motorola returned to profitability in 2003 with earnings of $893 million, and has stayed in the black so far this year, although it posted a $203 million loss in its most recent quarter.