As most struggling corporations tend to do when times get tough, keep getting tougher, and are forecasted to get even worse, Motorola has sent their Chief Executive Officer (CEO) out the door with a golden parachute. Ed Zander has been at the helm of Motorola’s wayward ship for almost four years now, and has endured financial slumps and attacks on his throne from the likes of rebel investor Carl Icahn. And, it seems that Carl Icahn will be getting what he wants – Zander has announced that he will be stepping down on “My date, my doing, my time-frame.”
Come January 1, 2008, Greg Brown, the 47 year old Chief Operating Officer (COO) will take the reigns as the head of Motorola. Brown joined the company in 2003, and promises to leverage the company’s Q3 2007 profits (the first profitable quarter this year) to help keep the struggling giant, Motorola, in the green. Zander will stay on as a strategic advisor to the CEO as a non-officer employee until January 5, 2009.
But, as Motorola’s shares saw a 1% boost, some analysts speculate that this changing of the guard could be a sign of bleaker times. Citigroup analyst, Jim Suva, told clients that Zander’s resignation could signal “yet another disappointment for the handset segment and more meaningful changes that have to occur … we believe Motorola’s handset division is still struggling.”
Motorola seems to always be talking about bringing the “next best thing” to market, but we’ve been left waiting and waiting for Moto to effectively execute their plan. Brown’s leadership could indicate a renewed energy for Motorola, and we hope the company will refocus their efforts and bring some snazzy, new handsets to market – ELBA anyone? Kudos, Greg Brown, you’ve got a tough road ahead of you, and just know we’re rooting for you.