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Motorola's Jha Shuffles Management, Unveils Multimedia Phones

John Cipolla will replace Rob Shaddock, who had been named to head consumer products in April and who is now leaving the company.
Just two weeks after Sanjay Jha took over the helm at Motorola's mobile phone division, he is making his presence felt.

The former Qualcomm executive this week named longtime Motorola executive John Cipolla to lead the consumer products unit.

Cipolla replaces Rob Shaddock, who had been named to head consumer products in April and who is now leaving the company. The management changes were reported by Silicon Alley Insider.

Jha's former position as chief operating officer of Qualcomm put him in the driver's seat in cutting edge wireless mobile technology. He helped Qualcomm pioneer its CDMA infrastructures -- both for EV-DO and for W-CDMA. The EV-DO technology is used in the U.S. by both Verizon Wireless and Sprint while W-CDMA is heavily used by GSM cell phone service providers including AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.

To help bolster the brand, Motorola has said it will launch 50 new phones this year. However, the two handsets it unveiled Wednesday in Singapore aren't likely to set the company's sales on fire. The W388 is a music-enabled handset that features a digital camera and will sell for less than $100.

With a nod to one-click mobile social networking, Motorola also revealed its VE538 handset. The phone will sell for less than $250, according to the Reuters news service. The 3G device also offers photo uploading and blogging capabilities. The VE538 will be offered in Asia-Pacific markets before it will be marketed globally.

Motorola has rapidly been losing market share to Nokia, which has captured 40% of worldwide handset sales, although the Chicago-based company has managed to hold onto its first place ranking in the U.S. Also once in the first place position in China, Motorola has seen its position slip from a 20% market share there in 2007 to 7.5% now, according to market research numbers.