Feature Article

April 10, 2014

Comings & Goings: The New President and COO of Motorola Mobility is Rick Osterloh

It seems that quite a few changes have taken place at Motorola over the past couple of years. In 2012 Google acquired the company for $12.5 billion. Just a little over a year later in January 2014, Google sold the company to the Chinese multinational technology company, Lenovo.

In February of this year, Motorola’s CEO Dennis Woodside mentioned that he would be leaving the company to take the position of chief operating officer at Dropbox. At the time of Woodside’s actual departure, the new designated COO was Jonathan Rosenberg. He took over the position just a little over a week ago, nine days to be exact, and that is how long he was COO.

As of a memo issued on Wednesday from Motorola and written by Rosenberg, he states that the new chief operating officer is now Rick Osterloh. The memo states, “We’re excited to announce that Rick Osterloh has been named as President and COO of Motorola Mobility. Rick will assume the role immediately, reporting to the Motorola Operating Board at Google until the Lenovo acquisition is complete.”

Overall, Osterloh has been with Motorola for about seven years. In his early days he was in charge of leading the product management team. Later on, he moved into the position of commanding software and operation delivery for the Android platform. This was followed by taking a little time off from working at Motorola to oversee product and design at Skype.

When Microsoft acquired Skype back in 2011, Osterloh returned to Motorola. Since that time he has been serving as Motorola Mobility’s senior vice president of product management. So, as you can see from his overall experience, Osterloh seems to have built up quite an impressive resume that shows he has a lot of experience with both leadership and just as important these days, company shuffles.

In a blog post, Rosenberg said, "Rick is a Silicon Valley veteran and a familiar face across Motorola, where he has been leading all product management and helping to define the 'go forward' strategy for the past two years. Since his return, Rick's had a key role in the company's reinvigoration. He's been a guiding visionary on the entire product front and a passionate advocate for our philosophy to focus everything we do on the consumer experience."

Before Woodside left his post as CEO, he held a special press event at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Oddly enough, while we were expecting some major announcement at that time, it seems that the reason for the press event was so that Woodside could give the world an update on business, which didn’t really consist of much. We were at least hoping for more details on Google selling Motorola to Lenovo, but that didn’t happen either. However, it does seem that Lenovo has some definite plans once the acquisition is a done deal.

In spite of being named president and COO, according to a post in ZDNet, there are some reports that would suggest that the top people at Lenovo are looking to have Osterloh’s position be that of CEO instead of COO. Unfortunately, ZDNet did not receive a response to inquiries as to whether this is true or not. I guess that we will just have to wait and see what happens. As of April 9, 2014, Osterloh will still be reporting to Google as the COO.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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