Motorola remains ambiguous on reported plans to move its handset division to California, saying it is always looking for the best places to hire talented workers but will maintain its presence in the Chicago area.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha is considering moving the company’s handset division to California, where it would be closer to a high concentration of engineering talent. Before heading Motorola’s device segment, Jha worked as a senior executive at San Diego-based Qualcomm.

A Motorola spokeswoman neither denied nor confirmed specific details of the report, saying: “Motorola is a global company, and we are always looking for the best locations to hire key talent with the skill sets we need. Following completion of the separation, both of our businesses will continue to have a substantial presence in the greater Chicago area."

The move would be part of the company’s formalized breakup plan, which will divide the company between its handset/set-top box segment and its public safety/network equipment unit.

Motorola currently employs about 10,000 workers in the Chicago area, where it got its start in 1928.

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