Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, AppDynamics Blog, Vormetric Blog

Related Topics: Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Symbian, Open Source Cloud, SYS-CON MEDIA, API Journal, Silverlight, Wearables, Recurring Revenue

Java IoT: Article

Is Motorola the Next Sun? Thanks to Ed Zander

Since Ed Zander led Sun into the valley of the shadow of death, there's a good chance this may now happen to Motorola

Since Ed Zander led Sun into the valley of the shadow of death back – what? – over five years ago now, it has never recovered. And there’s a good chance the same thing may happen to Motorola.
 
With a year left to run on his contract, Zander quit yesterday – and clearly not a moment too soon given the events of the last year or so. There are people who would have gladly ridden him out of town on a rail months ago and it’s assumed he’s resigning now to avoid getting fired.
 
Zander, whose telecom experience consisted of answering the phone, was brought in four years ago to narrow the lead in phones between a first-place Nokia and a second-place Motorola.
 
Motorola is now in third place, losing ground to both Nokia and Samsung, its market share sheered from 20.7% a year ago to 13.1% now.
 
When Eddie got to Motorola in January 2004 he lucked out and rode the tsunami created by the company’s new Razr phone, an invention of the ousted hereditary Galvin administration.
 
Razr sold a phenomenal 110 million units, more than any other cell phone in history. Motorola’s stock price was close to doubling by last October.
 
However, with Eddie in charge Motorola’s well of ideas went dry. It couldn’t come up with a follow-on, giving Apple, a computer company you might say, the opportunity to dictate what the next-generation of phones should look like, that is unless Google and its Android cotillion up and waltz away with the vision thing.
 
Motorola also hasn’t exploited its acquisition of Good Technology, whose enterprise e-mail software competes with RIM and its Crackberry.
 
Without a hot Razr replacement, Motorola in its last quarter last year sold cell phones at a loss to maintain market share. By January it had to drop its earnings forecast. That ushered in activist shareholder Carl Icahn and a bitter proxy battle over a board seat that Zander only narrowly won last spring.
 
Zander promised that Motorola would at least have a profitable year and started cutting costs. The company has so far canned 5,000 of the 7,500 people destined to get pink slips, including half the executives in its cell phone unit. However, though Moto returned to profitability at the end of October its fiscal third-quarter earnings were down 94% and with Zander handing in his notice yesterday it’s widely suspected his turnaround is a flop.
 
Boards don’t let CEOs go in the middle of a successful turnaround.
 
Enter Zander’s handpicked successor, Motorola president and COO Greg Brown, a guy who’s held those titles since March, basically as heir-in-waiting.
 
His reception has been tentative; Motorola’s stock rose all of 32 cents Friday. There’s concern that being close to Zander his appointment means more of the same. And Brown doesn’t have much more telecom experience than Zander. The market would have had more confidence in an outsider with a brand name, but miracle workers are in short supply.
 
Brown joined Motorola in 2003 from Micromuse, the network management software where he was CEO before IBM bought it.
 
At Moto Brown was instrumental in its $3.9 billion acquisition of Symbol Technologies, the Long Island barcode scanner and handheld computer people, and in Motorola’s $1 billion divestiture of its flagging automotive electronics unit.
 
His credentials suggest he might put more effort into Motorola’s $8 billion enterprise mobility arms. However, Brown indicated his top priority is to fix Motorola’s broken phone business, responsible for roughly half of the company’s $39 billion a year in sales.
 
Its sales are now down 36% and it ran a $138 million operating loss in Q3, not as bad as the $264 million it lost in Q2.
 
Then of course there’s the little matter of Moto’s stock being down 40% to roughly about where it was when Zander took over.
 
Brown’s recovery plans are supposed to be unveiled early next year after Zander’s resignation takes effect January 1.
 
Icahn, who’s upped his stake in the company to about 3%, issued a statement yesterday saying that Zander’s leaving was “long past due” but doesn’t “even begin to address the major problems at Motorola.”
 
He thinks it should be split into four separate companies: “a mobile devices company, an enterprise mobility company; a connected home company and a company focused on mobile networks infrastructure” and he thinks the mobile devices’ business should be standalone.
 
The Wall Street Journal, whose front page last April quoted Zander as saying “I love my job; I hate my customers,” says private equity firms have approached Motorola regularly this year about buying the company or part of it, offers Sun would dearly appreciate long about now.
 
Zander will remain chairman until the stockholders meeting in May then step down from the board. He’ll be an adviser to the new CEO until his contract runs out on January 5, 2009.
 
He will draw his pay next year but because he’s stepping down voluntarily he misses out on a possible $35.6 severance package for getting fired. However he’s still going to see about $16 million.
 
It’s unclear how involved Zander’s been in Motorola lately. He said yesterday he has been negotiating his departure with the board for the past few months. And interim CFO Tom Meredith, Dell’s former CFO drafted off Moto’s board, seems to have been calling a lot of the shots lately. Meredith claims the mobile phones unit will return to profitability next year.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Ron Sweitzer 12/01/07 12:51:33 PM EST

Sony CEO Howard Stringer should have been fired before Zander. Both Zander and Stringer are the two most incompetent CEOs in history. Zander did not even have an email account while running Sun. I would receive an instant reply from McNeally on a Sunday afternoon, but waited until Monday to talk to Zander.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.