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Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside talks Google, expectations in new interview


Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside is in the precarious position of living up to incredible expectations as a Google owned company while still keeping the Motorola name in the spotlight. In an interview with the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Woodside talked that very issue and more.

When asked why Motorola couldn’t stand as a stand-alone company, Woodside responded that Google offers Motorola a boost it didn’t have prior to the acquisition:

Google gives Motorola a couple things. One is that willingness to have a long-term vision that’s bold, and really encouraging us to have that vision, and giving us the capital to make the transition.

You also have to (believe in) the long-run value of having everybody connected on high-quality devices that can access all the services that we’re used to. Only Google has that long-term mindset.

While many have speculated that Motorola will act as an extended arm for Google, Woodside says that isn’t the case:

Although Google is our shareholder, Motorola is going to operate independently.

Our (technology) systems are separate. That actually imposes costs on us. We’d love to be able to leverage Google’s data centers and internal tools. But because Android is a platform available to all (phone makers), if we had any IT access, that independence could be breached. We get the code for the next-version Android at the same time as everybody else.

Sometimes it’s frustrating, because you actually want to do more.

When asked what the biggest headache has been incorporating the two companies, Woodside touched on those very expectations:

The expectations are really high. You have people at Motorola who expect, now that Google owns us, we’re going to do everything together. You have outsiders who expect a completely different software or hardware strategy because the companies are now together.

Another challenge is more internal. Managing the cultural shift from a company that had been very engineering-led and driven, but not as consumer-led and driven as we want to become.

The rest of the interview touches on who Woodside considers his biggest expectations, consumer expectations for hardware and more.

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