Motorola Inc. has named former Sun Mircrosystems Inc. President Edward Zander as its chairman and CEO, officially ending three generations of leadership under the founding Galvin family.
Mr. Zander was chosen over likely candidate Motorola President Mike Zafirovski, who lead the cell phone business back to profitability before his promotion last year. The company said Mr. Zafirovski- will remain president and COO.
Mr. Zander worked as president at network computer maker Sun for 15 years, but left last year. Mr. Zander, now at private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, will join Motorola on Jan. 5, 2004.
During Mr. Zander's tenure, Sun grew to U.S. $18 billion in revenue in the server market. He oversaw day-to-day operations, including manufacturing, research and development, and sales and marketing. Prior to joining Sun, he held positions at Apollo Computer and Data General.
Citing strategic disagreements with the board, Christopher Galvin, Motorola's current chairman and CEO, said he would resign as soon as a replacement was named. Mr. Galvin, whose grandfather founded the company and father built it into a top technology player, has been CEO since January 1997 and chairman since June 1999.
According to analysts, Mr. Zander will need to move quickly to decide on which businesses Motorola should focus. The month after Mr. Galvin's exit announcement, Motorola revealed plans to spin off the semiconductor unit. Motorola's cell-phone business, its largest unit, has had some success with a return to profits and the debut of some highly touted models.
However, the unit has struggled with delays in deliveries of hot-selling models and faces stiff competition from South Korean rivals Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., LG Electronics Ltd., and its larger Finnish competitor, Nokia. (Reuters)
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