Sounds like our man Sanjay Jha is out. Bloomberg News is reporting that Google will announce Dennis Woodside as the new CEO of Motorola Mobility. Three people familiar with the matter confirmed the news with Bloomberg.
Previous rumors had suggested that Google would appoint Nikesh Arora to run Motorola after their acquisition deal closed. In that scenario Woodside would have taken Arora’s job, but it appears that he somehow leapfrogged him.
We are learning that Woodside is a longtime employee of Google, having joined the company in 2003. He has held the roles Director of Business Operations, Managing Director of Emerging Markets, Managing Director and VP of Google UK, President of Google Americas, and Senior Vice President of Google.
Most recently, Woodside oversaw the merger and reported directly to CEO Larry Page.
Omid Kordestani, SVP, Global Sales & Business Development, described Woodside by saying, “Ever since I met Dennis in 2003, I have been impressed by his combination of entrepreneurialism and operational excellence. He’s never afraid to try new things and always ready to roll up his sleeves and pitch in.”
The United States Department of Justice and Europan Commission recently granted approval for Google’s acquisition of Motorola, but at last count China, Israel, and Taiwan were left to weigh in on the deal. This recent news that Google will replace the CEO of Motorola Mobility could signal that the merger is virtually complete.
In a recent interview with The Verge, former Motorola Vice President Marty Cooper had suggested that Google should leave Motorola alone after the deal closed. Marty warned, “As soon as Google starts treating them like their child and puts constraints on them, they’re going to have trouble competing.”
It remains unclear what role Sanjay Jha will take, but a report from The Times of India says that he will be working with Woodside. Previous reports said that Jha would receive a $66 million golden parachute as part of the acquisition, so maybe he won’t miss his role as CEO.