Former Motorola CEO, Chairman Galvin Dies At 89

Galvin passed away during the night of Oct. 11, according to a statement. He was 89.

"We are greatly saddened by the loss of Bob Galvin," read a Wednesday statement from Motorola Mobility. "During his 29-year tenure at Motorola Inc., Bob oversaw remarkable growth and transformed Motorola into a global leader in technology, with $10.8 billion in sales in 1990, the year he stepped down as chairman."

Galvin was the son of Motorola founder Paul Galvin, and became CEO in 1959. He remained Motorola's top executive until 1986, and stayed on as board chairman until 1990. Chris Galvin, his son, became CEO of Motorola from 1997 to 2003. Robert Galvin remained on Motorola's board until 2001.

Galvin's tenure included some of Motorola's biggest moves, including the development of the first prototype cellphone. In 1983, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Motorola's DynaTAC 8000X telephone, which was then the world's first commercially available cellular device.

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"Bob was a visionary within the technology sector, leading the creation of the global cellular telephone industry from the introduction of the first portable cell phone prototype, the DynaTAC, to the first pocket-sized 'flip phone,' the StarTAC, in 1996," Motorola Mobility's statement read Wednesday.

Motorola has continued to transform since Galvin left the board in 2001. In 2006, it acquired Symbol Technologies, a move that significantly broadened its channel presence in enterprise networking and mobility products. Earlier in 2011, the former Motorola split into two companies: Motorola Solutions, where the vast majority of its channel business, from radios to wireless networking, resides, and Motorola Mobility, which houses its mobile phones, set-top boxes, cable equipment and home products, and is currently being sold to Google.

The two former Motorola co-CEOs and respective CEOs of Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions offered comments on Galvin's passing Wednesday.

"On Oct. 11, we lost a transformative leader and visionary," said Sanjay Jha, chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility, in a statement. "We will continue to honor Bob Galvin's legacy here at Motorola Mobility. He was committed to innovation, and was responsible for guiding Motorola through the creation of the global cellular telephone industry. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family."

Greg Brown, CEO of Motorola Solutions, told Reuters that Galvin was a "global thinker" who "saw around corners" and "put an extraordinary emphasis on innovation."