Motorola loses wireless unit chief

  • Motorola will introduce 34 wireless devices by the end of this year, including a touch-screen phone.

      Motorola will introduce 34 wireless devices by the end of this year, including a touch-screen phone. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
Bloomberg News
Published8/20/2008 3:38 PM

Motorola Inc., preparing to split itself in two, said the head of its wireless products for consumers left the money-losing mobile-phone unit.

Rob Shaddock, who led the consumer division since April, will be replaced by John Cipolla, Schaumburg-based Motorola said today in an e-mailed statement. Cipolla, who previously oversaw phones with more advanced features, will report to Co-Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Jha.

 

Cipolla faces the challenge of reversing the fortunes of the handset unit, which hasn't created a phone to match the success of the best-selling Razr, introduced in 2004. The division has lost almost $2 billion since the start of 2007 as people switched to handsets from Apple Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd.

Motorola fell 4 cents to $9.68 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have declined 40 percent this year.

Shaddock decided to leave, Motorola said. The company didn't specify his reasons.

Motorola lags Nokia Oyj and Samsung Electronics Co. in phone unit sales. It shipped 28.1 million phones last quarter, down 21 percent from a year earlier, enough to stay ahead of fourth-place LG Electronics Inc.'s 27.7 million.

Co-CEO Greg Brown announced plans in March to split off the phone division to focus on profitable TV set-top boxes, two-way radios and wireless-networking equipment. The company plans to complete the breakup by the third quarter of 2009.

Motorola will introduce 34 wireless devices by the end of this year, including a touch-screen phone in the U.S., Brown said last month. Shoppers snapped up 1 million units of Apple's iPhone 3G, which uses similar technology, in its first three days on the market last month.

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