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May 24, 2012, 7:58 am UTC
After months of speculations, Google has acquired Motorola in all cash deal for $12.5 billion. As widely expected, Sanjay Jha is stepping down as CEO and Dennis Woodside, Google’s former Americas head, will take the helm at Motorola Mobility which will be operated as a standalone company.
The deal was finalized nine months after Google Inc. made a surprise announcement that it wanted to expand into the hardware business with the most expensive and riskiest acquisition in its 14-year history. The purchase pushes Google deeper into the cellphone business, a market it entered four years ago with the debut of its Android software, now the chief challenger to Apple Inc.'s iPhones.
“I’m happy to announce today that our Motorola Mobility deal has closed...Sanjay Jha, who was responsible for building the company and placing that big bet on Android has stepped down as CEO,” Google CEO Larry Page said in joint statement of the two companies on Tuesday late night.
It is Google's largest acquisition ever, and pushes it deeper into cellphones. Google is already a formidable force in mobile computing thanks to its Android software, the chief challenger to Apple Inc. and its iPhones.
At the same time, the acquisition is largely a defensive one. Google needs Motorola's trove of 17,000 cellphone patents to defend Android phones against lawsuits by Apple, which accuses them of copying iPhone features.
Commenting on the appointment of Dennis Woodside, Page said, “I’ve known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he’s been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google’s biggest bets. One of his first jobs at Google was to put on his backpack and build our businesses across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia.”
The acquisition will also test Google's ability to keep its business partners, shareholders and employees happy as it moves beyond Internet search and other services built on software to begin manufacturing a wide range of equipment for the first time.
Google has hired a new team for running business at Motorola Mobility, which includes former Director of DARPA Regina Dugan, former supply chain VP at Amazon ,previously at Nokia Mark Randall, former CFO of Marsh, McLennan Vanessa Wittman, former head of HR at Visa, NVIDIA Scott Sullivan and former Google VP of Consumer Marketing Gary Briggs.
Motorola Mobility is one half of the old Motorola Inc. It split at the beginning of last year. The other half, Motorola Solutions Inc., is still independent. It sells police radios, barcode scanners and other products aimed at government and corporate customers.
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