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Motorola Loses Its Technology Chief Amidst Share Decline

Rich Nottenburg is the latest to leave Motorola as the exodus of top executives continues at the struggling company.
Motorola on Monday was hit with a double whammy as it said its chief strategy and technology officer left, and a new market-share analysis revealed that the company's mobile handset sales dropped to a 27% share of the U.S. market in the first quarter from 35% in the year-earlier quarter.

Rich Nottenburg is the latest to leave Motorola as the exodus of top executives continues at the struggling company. A spokesperson said the key strategy and technology officer left to return to the New York area to pursue "other opportunities" and to be with his family there.

Appointed to the strategy post in 2004 by former chief executive Ed Zander, Nottenburg assumed the technology position in December. The company said Nottenburg's duties will be assumed by Daniel M. Moloney, president of Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility business. Moloney is a 25-year veteran of the company, having joined its General Instrument unit in 1983.

Based in Horsham, Pa., Moloney will preside over a Motorola research operation that has been downsized in recent months.

Several top-level Motorola executives have left the company since chief executive Greg Brown took the helm in November. Brown has been positioning the company for a split into two separate units -- Mobile Devices and Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility Solutions. The decision to split the company in two was made after activist financier Carl Icahn threatened to initiate a proxy fight against Motorola.

The disappointing handset market-share numbers were contained in a report from the NPD Group. Motorola still holds the No. 1 position in the United States, but Nokia, LG, and Samsung are gaining market share rapidly. According to NPD, Samsung posted an 18% market share, LG's was 17%, and Nokia 8%. Research In Motion grabbed 5% of the market.

Nokia dominates the worldwide handset market with nearly 40% market share -- more than the next three competitors combined.