Google acquires Motorola Mobility, names new CEO

22 May 2012

Motorola Mobility's RAZR MAXX smartphone

Google has closed its deal to purchase mobile device maker Motorola Mobility, Google CEO Larry Page announced on the company’s blog. The US$12.5bn deal is Google’s biggest acquisition to date.

The announcement that Google was to purchase Motorola Mobility came just days after the Chinese government approved the acquisition.

Google will acquire the company for US$40 per share in cash.

In February, the EU joined the US to give Google the all clear to proceed with its purchase of Motorola Mobility.

As part of the acquisition that was first announced in August 2011, Google will gain access to some 17,000 patents, as well as a further 7,000 pending patents.

Google has said it intends to remain faithful to its open ecosystem mantra and will licence the patents to other technology companies.

Motorola manufactures smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth accessories and other mobile devices.

On the Google Blog, Page wrote about how phones have become supercomputers.

“It’s now possible to do things we used to think were magic, or only possible on Star Trek – like get directions right from where we are standing; watch a video on YouTube; or take a picture and share the moment instantly with friends.

“I’m excited to announce today that our Motorola Mobility deal has closed. Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone,” announced Page.

Leadership changes – new Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside

Page also introduced some leadership changes, following the acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

“Sanjay Jha, who was responsible for building the company and placing that big bet on Android, has stepped down as CEO. I would like to thank him for his efforts and am tremendously pleased that he will be working to ensure a smooth transition as long-time Googler Dennis Woodside takes over as CEO of Motorola Mobility,” he said.

Among the new leaders that Woodside has hired to join Motorola’s executive team are Regina Dugan, former director of DARPA; Mark Randall, former supply chain vice-president at Amazon and previously at Nokia; Vanessa Wittman, former CFO of Marsh & McLennan; Scott Sullivan, former head of HR at Visa and NVIDIA; and Gary Briggs, former Google vice-president of consumer marketing.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic