Zander to leave Motorola

Motorola Chairman and CEO Ed Zander will step down from the CEO job January 1, and will leave the chairman post of the equipment and handset vendor in May 2008, the company said this morning. This story was breaking just as our newsletter was being prepped for delivery, so details are scant and likely to emerge later today and through the weekend. Motorola quickly named president and COO Greg Brown to replace Zander.

The hallmarks of Zander's tenure (December marks his fourth anniversary as CEO) have been a roller coaster ride through the handset market and an acquisition binge in IP and video sectors. The former saw Motorola alternately setting trends with devices like the RAZR, and struggling to respond to other device market shifts. The latter may have positioned Motorola very well in a growing wireline broadband market, but some say the company still isn't an international powerhouse on par with Ericsson or Alcatel-Lucent (never mind how much those firms are currently struggling). Cisco CEO John Chambers told me last spring that he wanted to buy Motorola, but Zander wouldn't sell. Could such a merger be the missing piece for Motorola? Maybe Brown will provide the answer.

For more:
- glimpse this brief in The New York Times, and stay tuned

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