Former AT&T Chairman and CEO David Dorman will assume the role of Motorola’s non-executive chairman May 8, replacing Ed Zander, the company’s current chairman and former CEO. Greg Brown replaced Zander as CEO Jan. 1.
The 54-year-old Dorman joined the Motorola board in 2006 following a 26-year career in telecommunications. He is currently a managing director and senior adviser at Warburg Pincus and Co. Dorman joined AT&T as president in 2000 and served as chairman and CEO from 2002 to 2005. He previously served as chairman, president and CEO of Pacific Bell from 1994 until its acquisition by SBC Communications in 1997.
Dorman’s appointment follows months of executive turmoil at the troubled No. 3 cell phone maker. 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. However, since then, 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.
Zander’s woes prompted not only his dismissal as CEO but also a call from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, Motorola’s top shareholder, to sell off the company’s mobile phone division. Last week, Motorola said it would create two independent, publicly traded companies and improve the performance of the Mobile Devices business.
To stave off Icahn’s proxy fight promise, Motorola agreed April 8 to seat two of Icahn’s associates on the company’s board and to seek input from Icahn about the future of Motorola’s mobile phone division. The agreement also dismisses all litigation between Icahn and Motorola.