Is Greg Brown the Answer for Motorola?

December 1st, 2007 - 1:17 am ICT by admin  

Ed Zander is stepping down from his position as CEO of Motorola. On Friday, the mobile phone manufacturer announced that his successor, Greg Brown, will take the reins on January 1. Zander will remain chairman of the board, at least until the annual meeting of stockholders in May 2008.

“Next year marks my 40th year in the technology industry. This is the right time for me to move on to the next phase in my life and spend more time with my family,” Zander said. “I am grateful I had the opportunity to lead Motorola over the last four years. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Zander commended Brown for his vision and experience, calling him an “invaluable partner” and expressing confidence in his abilities to lead Motorola through a multiyear transformation.

Zander’s Success and Failure

“Ed Zander’s been under tremendous pressure,” said Avi Greengart, a wireless analyst at Current Analysis. “I’m eager to hear some details on what prompted this.” What is known is that shareholder Carl Ichan has been complaining about Zander’s leadership. Some equity analysts have been predicting Zander’s departure for months.

Zander was once Motorola’s hero. He helped reinvigorate the company with the Razr handset release. But he was unable to follow up with another model that turned heads in an increasingly competitive market. Motorola fell to third place in global mobile phone sales during Zander’s tenure.

“Motorola has lost some mojo to companies like Apple and even RIM and HTC,” Greengart said. “These companies are setting the pace while Motorola comes out with a new color of the Razr.”

Turning Motorola Around

Since March 2007, Brown has served as president and COO of Motorola and was elected to the company’s Board of Directors earlier this year. Previously, he headed four different businesses at the company. He also led the $3.9 billion acquisition of…

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