6 Comments

Summary:

As a kid my after-school sitter was the outlandish and catty plotlines of daytime soaps — Days of Our Lives, As the World Turns, and the like (latchkey kids unite). Now after reading the latest on Motorola’s fall from grace and recent anti-Zander comments from Carl […]

As a kid my after-school sitter was the outlandish and catty plotlines of daytime soaps — Days of Our Lives, As the World Turns, and the like (latchkey kids unite). Now after reading the latest on Motorola’s fall from grace and recent anti-Zander comments from Carl Icahn, the plotline of the handset maker’s struggles is straight off a catfight-filled soap opera copy desk. Maybe Moto CEO Ed Zander will be replaced next season by a long-lost twin who’s actually a cyborg.

In a full page page ad in the Wall Street Journal Carl Icahn calls Motorola “troubled” and says it has “stumbled badly” — all part of Icahn’s plan to capture a Moto board seat. In the letter Icahn also attacks a reported comment from Ed Zander that he loves his job, but hates his carrier customers, and calls Zander’s comment “something straight out of Alice in Wonderland.”

Activist investor Icahn is no stranger to controversy, but increasingly Zander is being painted more like the Mad Hatter. To a large extent by mad investors, that is. The Wall Street Journal posted a long piece about Zander’s role in Moto’s decline this weekend. The gist is that under Zander’s lead Motorola’s relied on the success of the RAZR for far too long and left itself hanging with no followup act. Nothing that is suprising to our readers.

The article chronicles the Motorola employees that left as Zander led the ship astray, like Ron Garriques and Mike Zafirovski. now CEO of Nortel. The talk in Silicon Valley is that Zander received a lot of unwarranted praise for his role in promoting the RAZR, and his lack of product vision is only now being demonstrated after the shine of the RAZR has worn off.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Nick Hawkins Tuesday, May 1, 2007

    Motorola does need a foot in the proverbial ass, so this might be the way to do it.

  2. Ilario Johnson Tuesday, May 1, 2007

    As the WSJ article pointed out Motorola is “inward and bureaucratic”. Zanders’ failure is as much failing to give the culture a “kick in the ass” as failing to follow-up the razr.

    As a group of radio frequency engineers, Moto can hardly be expected to develop iconic products. With no marketers at the helm (the loss of Geoffrey Frost was a great blow) its hard to optimistic about the product line.

  3. GigaOM » And A GigaMornin’ To You Wednesday, May 2, 2007

    [...] Battle of the Burroughs: Queens-born Carl Ichan got in Ed Zander’s face. Brooklyn born Motorola CEO is firing back. In a letter filed with SEC he [...]

  4. GigaOM » Camera Lights Action… Moto Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    [...] Even worse for Moto, Nokia said yesterday that its market share will rise in the second quarter, pushing its stock up, and widening the gap between the two. And by now everyone’s heard the Carl Icahn (failed for now) saga and Ed Zander’s struggles. [...]

  5. Moto’s Slow Death By RAZR Cuts – GigaOM Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    [...] to put a dog of a business unit out, in order to keep shareholders happy. The split comes after activist investor Carl Icahn spent months pressuring the Motorola board to sell off the handset division, which never rebounded [...]

  6. - Moto’s Slow Death By RAZR Cuts Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    [...] to put a dog of a business unit out, in order to keep shareholders happy. The split comes after activist investor Carl Icahn spent months pressuring the Motorola board to sell off the handset division, which never rebounded [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post