Google Picking Ad Sales Guy to Lead Motorola (Maybe)

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2012-02-24

No one is raving about the job Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha has done in the last couple years.

The last couple of quarters have been iffy as Motorola missed expectations both times.

But Jha did preside over some of my favorite phones, such as the Motorola Droid X, Droid Razr and my new favorite, the 3,300mAh super-charged, long-lasting Droid Razr Maxx. Amazing battery life.

Yet Bloomberg reported Google is poised to hire Dennis Woodside, who led Google's ad sales in the Americas before leaving to oversee the Google-Motorola merger (just blessed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission).

Okay, minor freak-out time. Google is replacing the leader of my favorite Android phone OEM (sorry Sammy) with a guy known for selling ads. Has no one else written about or otherwise complained about this?

I get that Woodside might be more Googley than Jha. Maybe Jha isn't Google material period. But Google is putting an ad sales guy in charge of a hardware OEM? Didn't we see this movie before? It was called "HP Hires Enterprise Software Pro CEO."

I was somewhat mollified when I looked at Woodside's CV on LinkedIn:


I like that Woodside has operational chops, both domestic and international. That should help with carrier negotiations, but is any other Motorola watcher a little uncomfortable with Google's choice?

By the way, this isn't quite official. Google told me: "As you know, the deal with Motorola has not yet closed, and we won't be commenting on speculation."

But that wasn't a denial, so it's not hard to see how this will go. When the last i is dotted and t crossed, Google will let us know if it's true. And then we'll have to see how it ends up.

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