Mobile
Commentary
11/30/2007
09:22 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Motorola's CEO Calls It Quits

Some would say it is about time. After a troubling year for its handset business and massive shareholder pressure, Motorola's CEO Ed Zander has agreed to vacate his chair at the end of the table. He'll hand it over to Motorola chief operating officer Gre

Some would say it is about time. After a troubling year for its handset business and massive shareholder pressure, Motorola's CEO Ed Zander has agreed to vacate his chair at the end of the table. He'll hand it over to Motorola chief operating officer Greg Brown. The real question is, will this change of leadership be what Motorola needs to turn things around?There's no doubt that Motorola needs to find a new direction. While its Razr handset, which was developed by Zander's predecessor, may have been a smash hit in Zander's first couple of years with Motorola, the company hasn't followed it up successfully with an equally popular handset. That's not to say the Illinois-based firm hasn't tried.

The Razr's first supposed successor, the Krzr (pronounced krazer), was a relative flop in comparison. The Razr still outsells it. There were others, such as the Rokrs, Pebls, Slvrs, Rizrs, and Qs. All decent phones, but not iconic.

In May, Motorola held a press conference in NYC to bow the official Razr2, which is selling well, but the original Razr still outsells it. It was with this announcement that people really began to wonder where the company was headed. Then came an announcement that Motorola's handset business wasn't doing well, and would close out 2007 in the red.

Shareholders were fuming. One large shareholder, Carl Icahn, attempted to snag a seat on Motorola's board of directors in an attempt to gain some measure of control over the company. He failed. But the message was loud and clear. Shareholders want change.

Well, now they have it.

Whether or not Mr. Brown can affect the changes they are looking for is something only time will tell.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.