Larry Page: 'Motorola is a great American tech company'
Googorola is now a reality. Today, Google formally completed its Motorola acquisition, after completing the final hurdle, approval from China, over the weekend. The approval came with conditions -- that Google keep Android open for at least 5 years -- but the company had been on that track anyway.
Motorola is a big purchase, $12.5 billion, initiated in August 2011. With Motorola, Google gets an enormous cache of patents -- pending and approved around 24,000; enormous wealth in cellular research and development, manufacturing operations; and a heap load of headaches. Over the weekend, for example, International Trade Commission blocked entry to a majority of Motorola mobile products for violating a single Microsoft patent.
Questions now are many. Where will be the layoffs and how many? What kind of restructuring will there be? How will Google make Android devices without competing with other OEM partners? How will Google handle ongoing Motorola patent concerns -- either as plaintiff or defendant? On that former, Moto aggressively, perhaps too much, pursues other companies.
The first restructuring steps are underway. In a move not unexpected, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha will step down and be replaced by Dennis Woodside.
Full text of Google CEO Larry Page's announcement:
The phones in our pockets have become supercomputers that are changing the way we live. It’s now possible to do things we used to think were magic, or only possible on Star Trek--like get directions right from where we are standing; watch a video on YouTube; or take a picture and share the moment instantly with friends.
It’s why I’m excited to announce today that our Motorola Mobility deal has closed. Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone. We all remember Motorola’s StarTAC, which at the time seemed tiny and showed the real potential of these devices. And as a company who made a big, early bet on Android, Motorola has become an incredibly valuable partner to Google.
Sanjay Jha, who was responsible for building the company and placing that big bet on Android, has stepped down as CEO. I would like to thank him for his efforts and am tremendously pleased that he will be working to ensure a smooth transition as long-time Googler Dennis Woodside takes over as CEO of Motorola Mobility.
I’ve known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he’s been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google’s biggest bets. One of his first jobs at Google was to put on his backpack and build our businesses across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. More recently he helped increase our revenue in the U.S. from $10.8 billion to $17.5 billion in under three years as President of the Americas region. Dennis has always been a committed partner to our customers and I know he will be an outstanding leader of Motorola. As an Ironman triathlete, he’s got plenty of energy for the journey ahead -- and he’s already off to great start with some very strong new hires for the Motorola team.
It’s a well known fact that people tend to overestimate the impact technology will have in the short term, but underestimate its significance in the longer term. Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine, and the impact of that transition will be profound -- as will the ability to just tap and pay with your phone. That’s why it’s a great time to be in the mobile business, and why I’m confident Dennis and the team at Motorola will be creating the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come.
Do you think Motorola will be a good fit for Google?