Meet Motorola Mobility’s New CEO
Don’t be concerned if that name doesn’t ring a bell — it’s likely that the first time you heard of Woodside was when Bloomberg rumored in February that he would be given the top spot at Motorola Mobility following the acquisition.
It’s been months in the making, but Google has finally secured approval from the US, EU, and China to purchase Motorola Mobility, the consumer-facing side of the legendary hardware manufacturer, and as of Tuesday the $12.5 billion deal is complete. Other than the fact that Google now owns a massive hardware company and a portfolio of useful patents, the biggest news Tuesday was that Motorola Mobility’s CEO, Sanjay Jha, has been replaced by a Google executive named Dennis Woodside.
Motorola RAZR V3. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Don’t be concerned if that name doesn’t ring a bell — it’s likely that the first time you heard of Woodside was when Bloomberg rumored in February that he would be given the top spot at Motorola Mobility following the acquisition. However, we suspect that we’ll be hearing a lot from the new CEO over the coming months and years as Google works to keep other Android OEMs happy while attempting to make Motorola profitable. While Woodside may have kept things quite in the public sphere, he’s certainly been making waves in Silicon Valley. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook attempted to poach him from Google by offering him the position to become the Cupertino-based company’s head of sales — a role that Woodside turned down thanks to assurances from Google that he’d be given “greater responsibilities,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. It looks like the search company has made good on its promise.
43-year-old Dennis Woodside got his start at Google back in 2003, and ever since he’s been heavily involved in the company’s core business: advertising. He doesn’t have much of an online presence (he’s without a publicly-active Google+ profile, and his LinkedIn account was recently taken offline), but he has managed Google’s relationships with major partners and advertisers, and for a long time he was instrumental in getting international advertisers to get online and spend money with Google to promote their products. Unlike many of his Google colleagues, Woodside doesn’t have much knowledge of the technical side of hardware and software, and, unlike most in his position, he doesn’t have a business degree, either. Instead, Woodside graduated from Cornell University in 1991 with a degree in Industrial Relations (he was also a triathlete), and he went on from there to Stanford University — a Google favorite — to get a law degree in 1995. Fresh out of law school, Woodside worked as a law clerk for the US Court of Appeals in New York City, and was involved with cases such as the first bombing of the Word Trade Center, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
As shown on Woodside’s LinkedIn profile, after a stint as an attorney at a Los Angeles-based law firm dealing with mergers and acquisitions (experience that would surely help him manage Google’s acquisition of Motorola), he got his start in business with a role as Associate Principle at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, for over 5 years. McKinsey would be Woodside’s stepping stone to Google, and ultimately his new position as Motorola Mobility’s CEO.