Ed Zander replaced at struggling Motorola

Ed Zander will give up his job as the CEO of Motorola at the end of the year, the company announced Friday.

Ed Zander will step down as CEO of Motorola at the end of the year as the company battles with declining revenue and profit.

Motorola announced Friday that Greg Brown, 47, its president and chief operating officer, will take over from Zander on January 1. Zander, 60, will continue as the company's chairman until its shareholder meeting in May, Motorola said.

"Next year marks my 40th year in the technology industry," Zander said in a statement. "This is the right time for me to move on to the next phase in my life and spend more time with my family."

The Schaumburg, Illinois, company has struggled this year in the mobile phone market, which accounts for about half of its business. The company launched its popular Razr device a few years ago, but since then has failed to produce a successor that captured the public's imagination.

Just this week, research company Gartner said Motorola's share of the mobile phone market slid to 13 percent in the third quarter, down from 21 percent last year, and Motorola lost its second-place standing to South Korea's Samsung Electronics.

Motorola reported net sales of US$8.8 billion for its third quarter, down from US$10.6 billion a year ago. Net earnings were US$60 million, down from US$968 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

"Everybody's been waiting for this to happen for at least six months so it's not a big surprise," said Carolina Milanesi, Gartner's research director for mobile devices.

Zander shouldn't be judged harshly for his term at the company, she said. He did much to turn Motorola around when he first joined, streamlining operations and getting new products like the Razr to market more quickly.

"He did a lot at the beginning to get Motorola where it got to, and things didn't work out necessarily as he planned after that," she said. "There may have been a feeling of complacency at the company generally, enjoying the success and not thinking far enough ahead."

Zander became CEO in January 2004. He was previously managing director at Silver Lake Partners, and before that was the long-time president and COO of Sun Microsystems.

Brown is a natural successor, since he was already charged with reinvigorating Motorola's handset business. One challenge will be to focus the company's phone software strategy, which currently includes the UIQ interface; Windows Mobile; the Limo Foundation's Linux platform; a home-grown Linux platform; and, soon, Google's Android mobile phone platform.

Motorola has talked to analysts about some attractive new handsets planned for the second half of next year, according to Milanesi, but it's likely to be 2009 before the company can return to its former strength, she said.

Brown has been president and COO of Motorola since March, and led various divisions of the company since joining in 2003. Before that he was chairman and CEO of Micromuse, a network management software company.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?