Mobile

Google finally closes Motorola deal, picks Dennis Woodside to run company

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Google has finally closed its much-talked-about $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google CEO Larry Page announced today on the company’s blog.

“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,” Page wrote. “We all remember Motorola’s StarTAC, which at the time seemed tiny and showed the real potential of these devices. And as a company who made a big, early bet on Android, Motorola has become an incredibly valuable partner to Google.”

As previously rumored, Google Senior VP Dennis Woodside (pictured) has been selected to become the next CEO of Motorola Mobility, replacing long-time CEO Sanjay Jha. Woodside started at Google in October 2003 as Director of Business Operations. He has also held the role Managing Director of Emerging Markets, Managing Director and VP of Google UK, and President of Google Americas.

“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,” Page wrote. “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. More recently he helped increase our revenue in the U.S. from $10.8 billion to $17.5 billion in under three years as President of the Americas region. Dennis has always been a committed partner to our customers and I know he will be an outstanding leader of Motorola.”

We knew that the Motorola deal would close soon because Chinese antitrust authorities approved the deal Saturday. In February, both European Commission and U.S. Department of Justice cleared the deal, even though there were concerns that Motorola could be given unfair advantage when it came to the popular Android mobile OS, which developed by Google and embedded in Motorola phones and tablets.

Page’s announcement of the deal closing does not say anything about possible layoffs or how Google might reform Motorola. A Google spokesperson deflected questions we had about Motorola’s strategy going forward, saying via e-mail:

“Mobile is a huge opportunity for Google and Motorola Mobility. The world is going through a once-in-a-generation shift to mobile computing – and there are 800M smartphones in the world now, but there are 6B mobile devices in total – all of which will get smart.”

“Motorola Mobility will have a simpler, more focused strategy and focus on fewer, bigger launches.”