Motorola may have received a hunk of accolades for its new Moto X flagship and Moto 360 smartwatch, but the news of its Vice President of Product Management’s departure may halt the fanfare.
Punit Soni, the man responsible for the Moto X’s Touchless Control, Active Display, and Quick Capture, announced that he’s leaving Motorola Mobility. “We worked hard to marry the agility of a modern internet services company with the legacy of the greatest telecommunications company in the world,” he wrote in a post on his Google+ page. “We crafted a new portfolio of products, we rebuilt our software stack, we launched the Moto X, then G and then E. Motorola is now firmly on the path of regaining its place as one of the most relevant companies of the mobile era.”
That last sentence begs to question of whether or not Motorola will be able to sustain the momentum it’s had going for it this year. It’s first-generation Moto X may not have had amazing sales numbers, but the technology behind it the aforementioned Touchless Control and Active Display are innovative in the mobile industry. And the launch of the mid- and low-range Moto G and Moto E helped the company find its niche in emerging markets.
There’s speculation that Soni is leaving because of the Lenovo acquisition, or that he might be going back to Google—from where he was poached. Soni didn’t offer much in the way of hints to where he'll end up, but he did conclude his farewell post with fond memories of his time at Motorola:
My favorite moment at Motorola was when I was up on stage at the Moto G launch in Brazil, looking into the eyes of the audience, proud to be talking about a product that we fervently believed in, that was built with true user value as its core tenet, that embodied the best of the new Motorola’s principles. I still remember the verve, the energy and the passion.
Soni contributed a hefty sum to the rebirth of Motorola as an innovator and gadget-maker, but the company could use this scenario to bring on someone who will help lead it into the future, so that its flagship devices end up at the top in sales numbers alongside Samsung's bevy of products.