updated 08:35 am EDT, Wed April 9, 2008
Moto Picks Dorman as Chair
Motorola began Wednesday by announcing its choice of David Dorman as the company's Chairman of the Board. The official replaces longstanding company head Ed Zander, who resigned as CEO in November and is set to depart from the chairman role in May. Dorman's role is not considered an executive role and will ultimately defer to that of current CEO Greg Brown. The new board member is touted for his telecoms experience and comes most recently from AT&T, where he served as both chairman and chief executive until November 2005.
Dorman's hiring is largely positioned by Motorola as part of its wider effort to mend its ailing Mobile Devices business, which is already to be split off from Motorola as a connected but independent company. The Illinois-based firm has argued that the shift is necessary to refocus the cellular business, which tumbled in late 2007 and is considered potentially damaging to the rest of Motorola's efforts if its downward slide continues.
Since his introduction to the top spot at Motorola, Brown has instituted a major restructuring plan bent primarily on improving the company's cellphone business. Changes widely credited to the new leader have included cutting an extra 2,600 jobs as well as pushing for the removal of several top executives, including the departure of Mobile Devices head Stu Reed after just eight months in his position.
Many past executives and chairpeople, including Zander, have been criticized for clinging too long to the early success of the RAZR and allowing marketshare gains to escape to other manufacturers. Recently, the RAZR has been cited as the most popular cellphone likely to be dropped for an iPhone.