13
Feb
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We've been trying to keep our heads up about the Lenovo-Motorola deal, but let's be honest: news like this is not encouraging. A Wall Street Journal report claims that Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, whom many had credited with the company's impressive new product lines in 2013, is leaving for Dropbox. Woodside began working for Motorola after more than ten years at Google, succeeding Sanjay Jha after Google acquired the company.

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The Wall Street Journal cites three anonymous sources in its detailed report, but Google confirmed the news shortly thereafter.

Dennis and the team have reinvented Motorola, with wonderful products like Moto X and Moto G," said Google CEO Larry Page. "I wish him all the best with his new big job at Dropbox.

Working for Dropbox would be a step down in prestige for Woodside (insomuch as a multi-million dollar a year job can be a "step down"), but shakeups were inevitable after Google sold Motorola to the Chinese electronics giant. Dropbox is the leader in the consumer-focused online storage market, having recently been valued at $10 billion. Google sold Motorola for just under $3 billion.

Woodside has led Motorola for under two years at this point, during which he's introduced the well-received Moto X and Moto G product lines. These phones have given Motorola a reputation for some of the best combinations of hardware, software, and unlocked price in the industry, to say nothing of the ambitious Moto Maker customization site available to US customers. On the other hand, Motorola remains unprofitable more than two years after the announcement of the Google acquisition. There's no getting around it: that's kind of a big deal for a CEO.

Let's try not to play with the crystal ball on this one, but the idea that Motorola can keep its current corporate culture after the transition to Lenovo is rapidly fading. It will be interesting to see who Lenovo finds to replace Woodside.

Update: Mr. Woodside has posted a short explanation of his departure on the official Motorola blog. He'll be leaving at the end of March and Google vice president of products Jonathan Rosenberg will become the Chief Operating Officer of Motorola. Beyond that, it's the usual safe executive language.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    I'm sure this will do good for Dropbox... can't comment on Motorola though

  • Hmm..

    Next news - Elgoog buys Dropbox.. yeah?

  • mustbepbs

    "As for Motorola’s current products, Yang Yuanqing said in the past that he doesn’t want to fix what’s not broken, suggesting that Lenovo may keep Motorola’s focus on customization, software optimization, and affordable devices, at least in North America."

    This makes me more hopeful.

    • NemaCystX

      I was hoping for a Motorola Tablet based on the Moto X, I guess that might not happen now. Woodside said Motorola was working on one that might be in 2014 but now it seems like it might not happen

      • mustbepbs

        Who knows? I would have bought a Moto X tablet day one, though. That's for sure.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        And what's stopping Moto from releasing one?

        • Jadephyre

          Maybe the fact that Lenovo builds tablets themselves (even though they are pretty shitty pieces of kit) and they don't want competition? Even though Moto is now owned by Lenovo, a tablet from Moto would still be competition, especially since it would probably be better than the crap Lenovo is pumping out right not. The only thing the Lenovo tablets have got going for themselves right now is the built-in kickstand, apart from that they are inferior to almost everything out there right now.

          • mustbepbs

            I owned a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 and the build quality was really nice. Lenovo is basically the only PC OEM that hasn't earned my scorn. I work in PC repair and I work with many brands. I've sworn off Toshiba, Acer and HP for sure. Lenovo makes a good piece of equipment.

          • Jadephyre

            I wasn't talking about the Windows Tablets, those are fine, I was talking about the last Android tablet they produced which frankly was a horrible excercise in "lets throw mediocre crap together". Specifically I was talking about this thing: http://www.androidpolice.com/topics/phones-devices/lenovo-phones-devices/yoga/ A shoddy screen resolution and MediaTek CPU... a surefire way for success.

    • athom07

      You realize that is just standard speak though, correct? Nobody really knows what they will do until they do it.

      • mustbepbs

        He could have said nothing.

        • athom07

          Hey, if it makes you feel good buddy then so be it.

  • NemaCystX

    This doesn't sound good... I'm losing more and more faith that Motorola will BE Motorola after Lenovo takes over

  • César Augusto Ramírez Franco

    Does this mean that new dropbox accounts will have locked bootloaders?

    • Sean Royce

      0/10.

    • Franco Rossel

      Only in VZW.

    • ReturnOfTheMack

      This is Dennis Woodside we're talking about, not Sanjay Jha.

  • Sean Royce

    This is big news. So many changes so early on in the year.

  • Jadephyre

    So that's it then, just when Motorola was starting to get good again. I'm sorry if this seems like i'm slinging an insult at Woodside, but resigning after not even two years of holding the reins is the sign of a quitter. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I doubt that Lenovo would have kicked him out seeing as they were heading in the right direction with him at the helm. Firing him would have only hurt the company, as much as his resignation has now done.

  • Shawn Cheever

    "...after Google sold Motorola to the Chinese electronics giant..." - I wonder how this will affect the "Made in USA" thing they were using to promote the Moto X. Now that Lenovo owns Motorola, I wonder if they'll discontinue making them here. That'd be too bad if they did.

  • Matthew Fry

    CEOs jump ship all the time. As awesome as they might be, they are sometimes interchangeable.

  • fabulosospucas

    Such a shame, I was so happy with my Motorola X, I bought a Moto G for my girlfriend and, when my Moto X shattered on the floor I immediately bought another Moto X. The integration between the phones and Google is what made it so awesome, and now everything will just dissappear. That's how Asian firms work.

  • John Smith

    "new big job at Dropbox" sounds sarcastic