Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

It’s Time to Googorola: Acquisition Finally Closes and Google’s Dennis Woodside Put in Charge

At long last, Google has completed its $12.5 billion cash purchase of Motorola Mobility, eight months after the deal was announced.

The acquisition had been held up by government approval processes, the last of which came from China over the weekend.

As expected, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha is stepping down; Dennis Woodside, who oversaw the acquisition on Google’s side, will replace him. Woodside was formerly Google’s president of the Americas region, and before that, built Google’s businesses in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia.

The Motorola deal gives Google access to some 17,000 patents granted and another 7,500 pending, across a wide range of technologies — 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and video compression and decompression — plus Motorola’s phone, tablet, set-top box and other hardware businesses.

Woodside said in a statement, “Our aim is simple: to focus Motorola Mobility’s remarkable talent on fewer, bigger bets, and create wonderful devices that are used by people around the world.”

Google CEO Larry Page added in a blog post that he expected the Motorola team “will be creating the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come.”

The Googorola leadership team will also include Regina Dugan, the recently departed director of DARPA, who will lead an internal lab.

Other Woodside hires include Mark Randall, who ran the supply chain at Amazon and was at Nokia; Vanessa Wittman, the former CFO of Marsh & McLennan; Scott Sullivan, the former head of HR at Visa and Nvidia; and Gary Briggs, the former Google VP of consumer marketing.

Google did not say it planned to make any layoffs, but did specify that quite a few of Motorola leaders are staying on in areas like product development and legal.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald