Dennis Woodside officially announces departure from Motorola, long-time Googler Jonathan Rosenberg to become new COO

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Last night, it was reported that Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside would be stepping down from his position to become the chief operating officer at cloud storage company Dropbox. Woodside has now confirmed this decision in a blog post on the Official Motorola Blog, saying that he will step down as CEO at the end of March.

Woodside goes on to announce that Jonathan Rosenberg, who was the SVP of Products at Google from 2002 until 2011, will step in as COO at Motorola Mobility on April 1st. Rosenberg worked closely with Woodside and was “intimately involved” with decisions at Motorola. Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora will remain Executive Chairman of the Motorola Operating Board and continue to oversee strategy at the company. It looks as if Motorola will be going without a CEO after Woodside leaves, leaving Lenovo with a lot of control.

Woodside says he is leaving Motorola Mobility “in great hands” and that he is immensely proud of what the company has accomplished in the past 18 months. He also notes that he is excited for the next chapter for the company under Lenovo, who purchased it for $3 billion last month.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston has also issued a statement on the news.

“We’ve long admired Dennis’s leadership at Google and Motorola where he ran multi-billion dollar businesses and built amazing organizations around the world. We’re so happy to welcome Dennis to our team — I can’t imagine a better person to help us bring Dropbox to global scale.”

Read the full resignation letter after the jump:

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Lenovo reportedly planning to purchase Motorola from Google for $2-3 billion

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Google CEO Larry Page and Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing

Update: Motorola and Google have both confirmed the acquisition of Motorola by Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Google will, however, retain the “vast majority” of Motorola’s patents. Google CEO Larry Page says that Motorola will be better unitized and more beneficial to Lenovo. This will also give Google more time to drive “innovation across the Android ecosystem.” The deal still has to pass regulatory approval in China and the U.S., and until then, Google says it is business as usual for the two companies.

According a tweet from Reuters reporter Gerry Shih, Lenovo is nearing completion on a deal to purchase Motorola from Google for around $3 billion. A report from China Daily news corroborates Reuters, but claims the deal is closer to the $2 billion mark. China Daily claims that the deal will be announced to the public Thursday morning in Beijing, which is just a few hours from now. Google is also holding an earnings call tomorrow, so it’s very possible that the information will officially drop during the call.

TechCrunch has “confirmed reports” of the acquisition, saying the terms of the deal have not yet been revealed, but that it was around $3 billion. It’s also important to note that the deal includes Motorola Mobility, which Google paid $12.5 billion for, not the entire Motorola company.

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Google files patent for a neck tattoo with lie detector capabilities and a microphone

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It’s no secret that Google thinks big when it comes to crazy, innovative technologies, and that appears to be just what the company is doing with its latest patent filing (via The Register). Google’s Motorola Mobility division, a year ago, filed for a patent relating to a temporary neck tattoo that can serve as a lie detector and includes a built-in microphone. It’s an incredibly out-there concept. Essentially, Motorola says you will be able to apply the tattoo with a sticky substance to your neck and wirelessly connect it to a mobile device.

The patent application suggests a couple of potential use cases. For one, Google points out that it could be used by security personnel that work undercover or in noisy environments. The application reads:

Mobile communication devices are often operated in noisy environments. For example, large stadiums, busy streets, restaurants, and emergency situations can be extremely loud and include varying frequencies of acoustic noise. Communication can reasonably be improved and even enhanced with a method and system for reducing the acoustic noise in such environments and contexts.

Google also suggests that it could be used in conjunction with a lie detector to tell when a user is speaking falsely, based on skin response.

Optionally, the electronic skin tattoo 200 can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user. It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual.

Obviously this Google neck tattoo is still in the early stages of development, but it does raise some interesting questions as to what else Google is secretly working on.  Read more

Moto X would be most heavily-promoted smartphone ever, if Google’s planned $500M spend is true

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The WSJ is reporting (via Techmeme) that Google is planning to allow Motorola to spend up to half a billion dollars to promote its forthcoming flagship smartphone, the Moto X. This would mean Motorola would spend more on promoting one handset than either Samsung or Apple spent in total last year across all their mobile devices.

Google is expected to allow its Motorola hardware unit to spend several hundred million dollars—and possibly upward of $500 million—to market the highly-anticipated device in the U.S. and some overseas markets, including in Europe, said people familiar with the matter.

All four major U.S. wireless carriers—AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp., and T-Mobile—are expected to make the device available to their customers this fall, in part because of Motorola’s marketing plans …  Read more