20 Moments In Motorola History7:17 PM EST Wed. Mar. 26, 2008
Motorola on Wednesday announced that it is splitting its Mobile Devices and Broadband & Mobility Business into two separate, publicly traded entities. Here, we take a look at what brought the Schaumburg, Ill.-based communications technology company to where it is today.
Paul V. Galvin and his brother, Joseph Galvin, incorporated the Galvin Manufacturing Company in Chicago on Sept. 25, 1928. Galvin Manufacturing would later become Motorola.
Shortly after incorporation, the Galvin Manufacturing Company released its first product, a battery eliminator, in 1928. The device let battery-powered radios run on a standard household electric current.
FIRST PUBLIC OFFERING
After releasing several more products, including a car radio in 1930, a police cruiser radio receiver in 1936 and a Handie-Talkie two-way radio in 1940, Galvin Manufacturing Company went public, and selling its first public stock in 1943 for $8.50 per share.
MOTOROLA BECOMES MOTOROLA
In 1947, the brothers Galvin ditched the Galvin Manufacturing Company moniker, changing the company name to Motorola Inc.
MOTO AND THE MOON
In July 1969, Motorola helped transmit the first words from the moon to the Earth. A Motorola radio transponder aboard the Apollo 11 lunar module transmitted telemetry, tracking, voice communications and television signals between Earth and the moon.
FIRST COMMERCIAL CELL PHONE APPROVED
In 1983, Motorola's DynaTAC phone, the world's first handheld commercial cellular phone, was approved by the FCC. The 28-ounce monster of a device was made available to consumers the following year.
GSM CELLULAR DEMOED
In Hanover, Germany in 1991, Motorola demonstrated the world's first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM).
MORE THAN JUST A PAGER
The world's first two-way messaging pager, the Tango, was introduced by Motorola in 1995. The device let users receive text messages and emails and reply with a standard response. The device could also be connected to a computer to download long messages.
THE FIRST SMARTPHONE?
Before everyone and their brother was glued to a BlackBerry, Motorola released the iDEN i1000plus Handset. The 1999 device combined a digital phone, a two-way radio, an alphanumeric pager, Internet microsbrowser, email, fax and two-way messaging.
INTERNET GOES WIRELESS
While most of us were still dealing with dial-up in 2002, Motorola released the SURFboardAE SBG 1000 cable modem gateway. The gateway was the first to combine a high-speed cable modem router with an Ethernet switch and wireless home gateway. Basically, the box let cable TV subscribers use their cable connection to share Internet access and to network multiple computers wirelessly.
RAZR STARTS A CRAZE
Motorola introduced the RAZR V3 cellular phone in 2004. The ultraslim, metal-clad, quad-band flip phone caused quite a stir. The phone was 13.9 mm thin and used aircraft-grade aluminum to achieve several design and engineering innovations, including a nickel-plated keypad.
The RAZR quickly became the country's No. 1 selling phone, hitting 750,000 units sold in its first 90 days and as recently as late last year, still held 16 percent of the crowded mobile device market.
Mike Zafirovski resigned as Motorola's chief operating officer on January 15, 2005.
Zafirovski joined Motorola in June 2000 as executive vice president and president of the personal communications sector, a post he held for two years. In 2002, Zafirovski was passed over for the promotion to COO for Edward Breen. Later that year, however, Breen quit and Zafirovski took over.
Zafirovski resigned just a week after he was passed over for the CEO spot, a title which went to Edward Zander. Zafirovski now helms Nortel Networks as president and CEO.
THE Q IS INTRODUCED
Billing itself as the "thinnest, lightest and coolest" smartphone featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, Motorola unveiled the Q on July 25, 2005. Building off the popularity of the consumer-focused RAZR, the Q was designed for executives and enterprises users looking for a stylish yet highly functional device. The first wave of the Q sold briskly, but later iterations failed to recapture the same magic.
MOTOROLA BUYS GOOD
In January 2007, Motorola acquired Good Technology and formed the Motorola Good Technology Group. Good Mobile Messaging and Good Mobile Intranet solutions extend enterprise applications, like Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Domino, intranets and other web-enabled corporate applications to mobile employees using AES encrypted, FIPS 140-2 certified security and cradle-free, real-time two-way wireless synchronization.
MOTOROLA AND SYMBOL MERGE
In 2007 Motorola and Symbol Technologies merged to provide products and systems for enterprise mobility solutions, including rugged mobile computing, advanced data capture and radio frequency identification (RFID)
WARRIOR LEAVES FOR CISCO
On Dec. 4, 2007, Padmasree Warrior, Motorola's executive vice president and CTO, left the company to join Cisco Systems as its CTO, a position that had been vacant at Cisco since 2005.
Warrior held various positions within Motorola for more than two decades. Chief Strategy Office Rich Nottenberg succeeded Warrior as CTO.
ZANDER STEPS DOWN
Edward Zander stepped down as Motorola's CEO on Jan. 1, 2008. He was hired by the board of directors as CEO on January 5, 2004 to replace Chris Galvin, who retired in September 2003, ending a three-generation run of his family as head of the communications giant.
Under Zander, a reorganization of Motorola's business divisions became more likely, as Zander wanted to see new products that focused on melding Internet technologies with wireless phone technologies. In the first quarter of 2007, however, Motorola posted a $181 million loss and Zander came under constant pressure. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, Motorola's second largest shareholder, demanded a share buyback and later requested four seats on the board of directors.
Zander will remain on the board of directors until Motorola's shareholders meeting in May.
BROWN COMES TO TOWN
In the wake of Zander's resignation, Motorola announced the appointment of Greg Brown as CEO on January 1, 2008. Brown had run Motorola's enterprise mobility efforts as president and chief operating officer.
ICAHN SUES FOR DOCUMENTS
On March 24, 2008, Carl Icahn, Motorola's second-largest shareholder, sued the company demanding that Motorola turn over records pertaining to the struggling Mobile Devices business and documents detailing the use of a corporate jet by top Motorola executives and their families. Icahn claimed Motorola's device business was lagging because of poor guidance by the board of directors and wanted to view documents that offered insight into the devices business' direction.
MOTOROLA SPLITS IN TWO
Motorola said it plans to split its Mobile Devices Business and Broadband & Mobility Solutions Business into two separate publicly-traded companies. The separation came in the wake of shareholder outcry over the poor management and performance of its mobile phone business.
During a conference call CEO Greg Brown said he will immediately begin searching for a CEO to head up the Mobile Devices Business and that he hoped the separation would reinvigorate its Mobile Devices business, which has been struggling against the likes of Nokia, Samsung and BlackBerry for market share.
n the final quarter of last year, Motorola told investors that net profit dropped 84 percent and sales of mobile phones fell 38 percent, while Motorola's chief rivals continued growth.
"We also expect this action to enhance the pace of recovery in Mobile Devices, to pave the way for its return as a leader in its industry, to accelerate our efforts to attract a new leader and to create shareholder value," Brown said.