With CEO Dennis Woodside out, where is Motorola Mobility headed?

Douglas Soltys

February 13, 2014 9:40pm

Following the initial shock of Google’s sale of Motorola Mobility for $3 billion, most MobileSyrup readers expressed cautious optimism at what Lenovo intended to do with the handset manufacturer. It is unlikely, however, that they’ll enjoy news that Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside is the first casualty of the sale, choosing to leave the company in favour of COO a position at Dropbox.

In a good-bye post published on Motorola’s corporate blog (posted in full after the jump), Woodside defended his time leading the company, stating that “in the last 18 months, Motorolans have built two of the company’s best loved phones ever, introduced customization to the industry, brought unprecedented quality and performance to a value-priced smartphone, and created experiences that changed how people use and interact with their smartphones.”

Most Moto X users would be inclined to agree with Woodside, and despite Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing’s claims that he will have Motorola turned around in a few quarters, should be concerned with the possibility of significant change. Although Woodside’s departure was likely inevitable, he was the major force driving Motorola’s customizable high-end, competent low-end strategy, and it’s uncertain if it will survive without Woodside to lead the charge.

Post a comment and let us know what you think.

At the end of March I will step down from my post as CEO at Motorola Mobility to join Dropbox as COO. This was not an easy decision to make, but I leave knowing that Motorola is in great hands – now and in the future.

In the last 18 months, Motorolans have built two of the company’s best loved phones ever, introduced customization to the industry, brought unprecedented quality and performance to a value-priced smartphone, and created experiences that changed how people use and interact with their smartphones.

It was a reinvention the likes of which many 85-year-old brands could not have achieved. And it was astonishing to be a part of.

I’m excited about what the next chapter in Motorola’s storied history will bring under the new ownership of Lenovo. While Google imbued simplicity and software sensibility into the company, Lenovo will bring it the scale it deserves. I have no doubt the two companies together will be a force for good in the mobile industry

To ensure that Motorola maintains its current momentum and successfully transitions to Lenovo ownership, Jonathan Rosenberg, a longtime Googler and SVP of Products from 2002 to 2011, will step in as COO at Motorola Mobility as of April 1. Jonathan worked very closely with me to build the leadership team at Motorola and has been intimately involved in steering business and product decisions alongside with the current leadership team. Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora will remain Executive Chairman of the Motorola Operating Board, and continue to oversee the strategy.

With their support, the entire Motorola management team remains focused on our current strategy and on creating great mobile devices that deliver the mobile Internet to millions more people around the world.

That’s something we can all rally behind.

SourceMotorola

  • It’s Me

    Where? To china.

    • Jonathan Schmitt

      Absolutely. But, with that being said, expect great things to come from it. Lenovo is no push over company. I have Y580 and it is by far the best computer I have ever owned! Lenovo will take the brand and market it like crazy and will keep the company going – hopefully still offering the nice features that the X and G brought to the table.

      I am excitted!

    • It’s Me

      Could be. Hopefully. But the mobile market of today is not the PC market of when the bought IBM’s PC business. They are coming into a market that is dominated by just one or two strong players that are at the top of their game. When they moved into PCs, everyone was already well into their race to the bottom.

  • Ken K.

    Keep in mind Google owns 6% of Lenovo share so hopefully the direction on Motorola will not change. Moto X and G are awesome.

  • Blas

    I would have bought the Moto X if I were with a carrier that had it.
    It was honestly the first android phone I’ve been interested in for a while now.

    Motorola is now in the capable hands of Lenovo, but I really wish they had been able to stay the course they were on.
    I kind of can’t help but feel like this may have been Google’s plan all along.