Here in the Product Ambassador team we like to talk a lot about devices. They're fun, cool and exciting and really the reason why our team started in the first place; Corporate Communications and Product Marketing found that the #1 thing that readers cared about was gadgets, and thus, the PA team was born.
But when new devices come out, with all of the ooo's and ahh's and specs and capabilities flying around, it's easy to forget that PEOPLE are behind these wonderful things. Very smart, interesting and innovative people. Like Rick Osterloh, CEO of Motorola who took control of the company after Dennis Woodside's reign under Google's ownership before Motorola was sold to Lenovo. Rick is working hard toward steering the Motorola ship toward profitability, but there are choppy waters ahead.
Rick took on leadership of Motorola Mobility in April 2014. He has a long and successful track record in the industry and at Motorola. Prior to becoming president, Rick was Motorola’s senior vice president of product, responsible for the planning, strategy, and delivery of all products. Prior to that he served as vice president of product and design at Skype, where he oversaw product for more than 250 million monthly Skype users. Before Skype, Rick was responsible for the delivery of software and operation of the Android platform at Motorola. Before Motorola, Rick led product management at Good Technology, managed enterprise software projects for Fortune 1000 companies at Deloitte Consulting Group, worked in product management at Amazon.com, and analyzed wireless industry investments for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
And Rick has definitely got his work cut out.
To say that Motorola has fallen from grace in the market place is an understatement. From their inception in 1928, Motorola has always been looked to for innovation and for some time in the early 2000s, they enjoyed an incredible amount of success with the Star Tac and RAZR product lines. They also heavily embraced Android from the beginning, being one of the first premier OEMs to really modify the platform to suit business and carrier requirements. But a series of management blunders inflated their product portfolio causing it to be unfocused and unwieldy. Meanwhile, better funded and organized Koreans competitors like Samsung and LG moved in to steal share with a series of compelling devices that consumers responded to.
With the company in a state of flux, Google moved quickly to acquire Motorola, immediately paring down it's product line to a few key handsets such as the incredibly innovative and customizable Moto X as well as the budget handsets Moto G and Moto E which proved that you don't have to sacrifice quality for price and have been incredibly successful in emerging markets like South America and India. Despite Google's engineering and financial muscle, the Motorola unit continued to lose money and in January 2014, the company was sold to Chinese OEM Lenovo. Under Lenovo Motorola is continuing with the X, G and E lines but is cooking up some interesting new products for 2015.
Rick is going to be a critical part of keeping Motorola on the right track, and Lenovo is trusting him to make the right moves. But in an interview with Re/Code's Walt Mossberg, he acknowledges the challenges ahead but remains optimistic for the future.
"Quite interestingly, what we've gone through in the last year and a half is what they went through many years ago. But, you're going to see our share really rebound here."
And we here on the PA team certainly hope so. We know well that consumers react positively to innovative, well designed products like the Moto X and the Moto 360 smartwatch. While we know they are going to have rough road ahead, we are big fans and are confident that with the right products and a laser focus on execution, we will witness the rise of a new, stronger, leaner and meaner Motorola. Best of luck Rick!
Until next time,
The Product Ambassador Team
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee