Motorola shakes up Washington operations

Motorola’s plans to divide its corporate operations set the stage for some big changes to its Washington office.

The cellphone and tech equipment company has hired four different lobbying firms in the past month, according to disclosure documents.

To handle telecom issues, Motorola has hired the Fritts Group, led by Eddie Fritts, the well-connected former chief of the National Association of Broadcasters.

TwinLogic Strategies will be lobbying on issues related to the National Broadband Plan, privacy and trade agreements. The firm’s founders include Sharon Ringley, former deputy chief of staff to Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who now chairs the House technology subcommittee. Boucher is planning to draft a privacy bill as well as lead major oversight of the broadband plan.

Motorola has also hired the Bockorny Group to work on trade and tax isssues. Denny Miller Associates will take the lead on budget, homeland security and defense technology lobbying.

The Beltway hiring spree reflects the larger reorganization going on within the Illinois-based company. Motorola said earlier this year that it plans to split in two in early 2011, with one half containing its consumer-oriented cell phones, including the popular Droid phone, and TV set-top box products. The other half will contain its public safety and business-focused equipment.

Both halves of the company will continue to run under the Motorola brand.

The company’s head of legislative affairs, Yardly Pollas-Kimble, is refocusing Motorola’s lobbying priorities, according to people familiar with the situation. Motorola declined to comment for this story because the reorganization is ongoing.