Edward Zander, who had been under pressure as CEO of telecommunications giant Motorola, has stepped aside from that post but will stay on through part of next year as chairman, the company said today.
Greg Brown, who had been running Motorola's enterprise mobility efforts as president and chief operating officer, among other things, will assume the CEO post, said Motorola, Schaumburg, Ill. Brown was also elected to the board of directors of the $43 billion company, Motorola said in an announcement.
Zander had come to Motorola after several years as the second-ranking executive at Sun Microsystems, where he oversaw that company's ascent through the dot-com era. While at Sun, Zander oversaw that company's acquisition of Star Office, among other things.
But his tenure at Motorola has been marked by extreme pressure in the company's cell phone and handset businesses, even as Zander planned to move the company into a more enterprise-friendly organization. Last year, Zander oversaw the acquisition of Symbol Technology - - the maker of handheld barcode scanners, point-of-sale devices and other enterprise mobility solutions.
"Next year marks my 40th year in the technology industry," said Zander, a native of Commack, N.Y., in a prepared statement. "This is the right time for me to move on to the next phase in my life and spend more time with my family. I am grateful I had the opportunity to lead Motorola over the last four years. It's been a wonderful experience."
Brown, 47, had overseen integration of Symbol into Motorola's business, and has run Motorola's businesses in automotive, government and public safety technology. Before he joined Motorola, Brown was chairman and CEO of Micromuse, a maker of network management software.
Zander had been under mounting pressure over much of the past year, as Motorola's cell phone sales had come under pressure amid aggressive competition from rivals, including Apple with its iPhone. In addition, Motorola's stock price had been under pressure and had been hovering near its 52-week low price.