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Moribund Motorola loses CEO

 Ed Zander 2nd December 2007

After suffering from a prolonged bout of sliding sales, cost cuts and collapsing profits, Motorola have finally parted from top man Ed Zander (pictured) in a move that many investors will welcome.

Motorola is not purely a mobile phone company, but handsets account for a large proportion of business. Motorola's recent successes and failures have mostly been on the back of the Motorola RAZR design that had proven to be a costly addiction (see our article "Why the RAZR is killing Motorola" for a more in-depth view).

So is Zander to blame for Motorola's moribund performance? Although our view is that he has hardly been inspiring, we feel that Motorola's problems are much deeper. As a technology company, Motorola has interests in all sorts of computing and communications businesses and competitors such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson are focussed very much on mobile handsets. But even that is not the real problem - LG and Samsung have a huge variety of consumer and industrial products, and even they manage to shine brighter than Motorola.

Ed Zander will be replaced by Motorola's Chief Operating Officer Greg Brown in January. The new CEO will need to revitalise Motorola with a new range of products that appeal to consumers and can compete head-on with the competition.

We've been waiting for Motorola to get its act together for a long time. Perhaps this change of leadership will make Motorola a truly interesting and innovative company again.

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