It's been a taxing few weeks for Motorola, a company that just can't seem the catch a break.
It delivered two impressive Android-powered phones, but it wasn't enough to help it turn a profit. Then, Google announced that it was selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $3 billion—about $9 billion less than what Google paid for the company in the first place. Now, the news of Dennis Woodside's departure has inspired some to claim that that company's end is nigh.
That may not be entirely the case. Woodside left his position as CEO of Motorola because it's the most obvious move. As Motorola becomes folded into Lenovo's product groups, it will no longer need its old headmaster.
Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora will remain the Executive Chairman of the Motorola Operating Board, while Jonathan Rosenberg, a long time employee of Google and SVP of Products from 2002 to 2011, will take the reins as COO at Motorola on April 1. About 3,500 other Motorola workers will also transfer over to Lenovo.
"I’m excited about what the next chapter in Motorola’s storied history will bring under the new ownership of Lenovo," Woodside wrote in a blog post. "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."
Lenovo's next move is to expand Motorola's reach where its products have been successful, while also hitting those other markets it hasn't yet been able to penetrate. CEO Yang Yuanqing told Bloomberg he was optimistic about turning around Motorola's business. Though Lenovo currently makes 80 percent of its sales from personal computing, its latest acquisitions show that it's shifting gears toward other ventures to increase its reach around the world.
Bloomberg also reported that Yang helped diversify Lenovo's business through sales of mobile devices. The company's smartphone business has been very successful in China, a victory that can be attributed to Yang's business sense. The company currently rests as the fifth major smartphone supplier in the world, with 4.5 percent marketshare.
Unlike a company like, say, BlackBerry, Motorola seems to be in good hands here. We don't know how much involvement Google will have with Lenovo's smartphone product, but it is likely that it'll be a while before we see Motorola's next product hit the shelves.