Motorola continued its management shake-up Aug. 4 with the appointment of former Qualcomm Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Jha as co-CEO of the company and CEO of Motorola’s Mobile Devices division. Jha will serve as co-CEO with current CEO Greg Brown.
Brown was also named CEO of Motorola’s Broadband Mobility Solutions unit, which consists of the Home & Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility Solutions businesses. Brown and Jha will share responsibility for Motorola as it moves toward separating into two independent, publicly traded companies.
Brown first mentioned spinning off the struggling handset unit shortly after taking over for former CEO Ed Zander in January. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who unsuccessfully tried to gain a seat on the Motorola board of directors in 2007, has been pressuring the company to dump its handset division for more than a year.
To avoid a proxy fight with Icahn, Motorola’s single largest shareholder, the company agreed to seat two Icahn associates on the 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.
“As co-CEOs, Greg and Sanjay will build on the significant changes and solid progress achieved at Motorola and the Mobile Devices business under Greg’s leadership during the last seven months,” David Dorman, chairman of Motorola’s board, said in a statement. “I believe this is the right structure with the right leaders to provide the necessary management focus and agility to position both businesses for long-term success.”
As Qualcomm’s COO, Jha, 45, was responsible for the company’s corporate and research development and Qualcomm’s Flarion Technologies. He also served as president of Qualcomm’s CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technologies.
“I welcome the opportunity to lead this company into the future, while working to create a successful independent mobile devices company that will continue to innovate and grow for years to come,” Jha said.
Motorola announced July 28 its Home & Networks Mobility unit, the company’s second-largest division after the cell phone business, will be split into three units: television set-top boxes and modems; carrier-class wireless equipment; and next-generation wireless equipment, including WiMax and LTE (Long Term Evolution).
John Burke, the current head of Motorola’s cable business, will run the cable equipment division, while Motorola Senior Vice President Fred Wright will lead the cellular wireless business. Dan Moloney, who currently runs the entire Home & Networks Mobility unit, will run the new next-generation division until a permanent head is announced.
After introducing the successful Razr model in 2004, Motorola has struggled to launch another hit cell phone, driving it from the No. 2 spot among dominant handset makers. Nokia and Samsung are now the top two handset manufacturers.
Motorola announced July 28 its Home & Networks Mobility unit, the company’s second-largest division after the cell phone business, will be split into three units: television set-top boxes and modems; carrier-class wireless equipment; and next-generation wireless equipment, including WiMax and LTE.