Feature Article

May 23, 2012

Google Installs New Motorola Mobility CEO After Acquisition

It's taken quite a while, but Google has finally secured approval from the U.S., Europe and China to purchase Motorola Mobility. Indeed, as of yesterday, the $12.5-billion deal is complete. In return, the search engine giant now owns a large and well-established hardware company, as well as a portfolio of handy patents.

The biggest news surrounding the acquisition yesterday, however, was that Motorola Mobility's CEO, Sanjay Jha, is to be ousted by Google executive Dennis Woodside.

While Woodside's name isn't exactly well-known publicly – he only previously served as president of Google's Americas region – he has been making waves in Silicon Valley; Apple CEO Tim Cook apparently tried to poach Woodside from Google by offering to make him head of sales at Apple, which Woodside turned down, likely because he already knew where Google planned to put him.

Since the 43-year-old started at Google back in 2003, he's been involved in advertising – the company's core business. Perhaps strangely, Woodside doesn't have a publicly active Google+ profile while his LinkedIn account was recently taken offline.

He has, however, managed Google's relationships with major partners and advertisers for years, and for quite a while he played an important role in getting international advertisers to get online and spend money with Google to promote their products.

Woodside isn't your typical Google executive; he has little technical knowledge in terms of hardware and software and he even lacks any sort of business degree. Rather, Woodside graduated from Cornell University in 1991 with a degree in Industrial Relations and acquired a law degree from Stanford University in 1995.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Woodside spent some time at a Los Angeles-based law firm dealing with mergers and acquisitions, which should come in handy over the next few months. During his time with Google, Woodside has spent a lot of time abroad working with advertisers.

Woodside says there won't be a shift in focus at Motorola after the acquisition. “My job is to make Motorola as successful as possible and deliver innovative hardware as a licensee of Android,” he said.

Edited by Braden Becker

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