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Google replaces Jha after closing Motorola deal

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:48pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Google has appointed Dennis Woodside as CEO of Motorola Mobility, wasting no time taking over control of the company after CEO Larry Page announced this morning via a blog post that Google has officially closed its $12.5 billion acquisition of the handset manufacturer.

Sanjay Jha, the CEO behind the former Motorola Mobility’s turnaround, will stay on to ensure a smooth transition as Woodside takes over control of the company.

Page credited Woodside with increasing Google’s revenue in the U.S. from $10.8 billion to $17.5 billion in less than three years.

Motorola Mobility said the acquisition will enable Google to “supercharge the Android ecosystem” and will enhance competition.

Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android, and Android will remain open. Google has maintained since announcing the proposed acquisition back in August that it will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

“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,” Woodside said.

The announcement comes after China’s antitrust ministry announced yesterday that it had approved the acquisition on condition that Google keep Android open for use by other OEMs. China’s caveat presumably has at heart the interest of Chinese OEMs ZTE and Huawei, both of which manufacture phones around the Android operating system.

While Motorola’s handset division is undoubtedly a boon for Google going forward, the company has owned up to coveting Motorola’s extensive patent portfolio, which includes more than 17,000 patents. After losing out on an auction of Nortel's patents, Google had been searching for ways to protect Android from patent litigation.

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