Motorola Ousts Zander as CEO

By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2007-11-30 Print this article Print

Greg Brown will replace Zander as the world's No. 3 cell phone maker struggles to regain its touch in the mobile handset market.

Beset with slumping handset sales and little momentum, Motorola said Nov. 30 Greg Brown will replace Ed Zander, Jan. 1, as chief executive officer of the worlds No. 3 cell phone maker. Zander will continue to serve as Motorolas chairman until the annual meeting of stockholders in May 2008. Zander, a former Sun Microsystems executive, joined Motorola in 2004 and quickly made a splash with the introduction of the Razr line of mobile phones. Since then, though, Razr sales have slowed and Motorola fell from No. 2 to No. 3 among the dominant handset makers. Nokia and Samsung are now the top two handset manufacturers.
Zanders woes led the companys top investor, Carl Icahn, to threaten to mount a campaign to overthrow Zander if performance didnt improve. It didnt.
Motorola posted another disappointing quarter Oct. 25 with third-quarter net income falling to $60 million from $968 million a year earlier. The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company posted sales of $8.81 billion, also down from 2007 third-quarter sales of $10.6 billion. For the first nine months of 2007, Motorola recorded a $149 million loss on sales, down 13 percent at $30 billion. "I want to take this opportunity to thank Ed for his vision, expertise and tireless commitment to Motorola," Samuel C. Scott III, Motorolas lead director, said in a statement. "We greatly appreciate his many contributions and wish him all the best in the years ahead. Todays decision is the culmination of a thoughtful and disciplined process of succession planning." Brown has served as president and chief operating officer of Motorola since March 2007. He also guided the $3.9 billion acquisition of Symbol Technologies, the second-largest transaction in Motorolas history. "This is a unique company with strong technology, people and customers," Brown said in a statement. "I welcome this opportunity to lead Motorola successfully into the future. We have a lot to do and I am intensely focused on building shareholder value." Prior to joining Motorola, Brown served as chairman and CEO of Micromuse, a network management software company. Prior to that, he was president of Ameritech Custom Business Services and Ameritech New Media. "We are confident that he will bring a combination of strategic insight, operational discipline, and inspirational leadership needed for accelerated and sustained growth," Scott said of Brown. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

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