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Motorola CEO Chris Galvin Steps Down
Posted: 20-Sep-2003 [Source: Mobile Tech News]

[Following a tumultuous six and a half years at the helm of Motorola, CEO Chris Galvin steps down.]

by Jean Panke, MobileTechNews -- On September 19, Chris Galvin, CEO and grandson of Motorola's founder, stepped down as head of Motorola. Although his leaving came abruptly, it was not unexpected. Motorola has been struggling along with the rest of the telecommunications sector and its stock lost half of its value under Mr. Galvin's six and a half-year tenure. In addition, Motorola lost its position as the world's leader in cellphones to foreign manufacturers such as Nokia, Siemens, Sony Ericcson and Samsung.

"While I have achieved substantial results, the Board and I do not share the same view of the company's pace, strategy and progress at this stage of the turnaround," said Chris Galvin. "Accordingly, it is time for me to pass the baton to new leadership. I leave my successor with a formidable Motorola platform compared to three years ago, before I implemented my five-point turnaround plan."

Motorola's Board of Directors, Presiding Director John Pepper Jr. said, "Chris Galvin has led Motorola through one of the most challenging periods in its history and in the world economy, including the Asian currency crisis, the telecom boom and bust and a coincident semiconductor down cycle. Throughout this period, he restructured the company to position it to return to steady growth. Under his leadership and restructuring initiatives, the company has significantly strengthened its balance sheet, generated positive cash flow for 10 consecutive quarters, returned to profitability, strengthened the Motorola brand throughout the world and put in place a strong, new management team to lead the company forward.

"The board supports Chris Galvin's decision to retire and appreciates his commitment to a successful transition while the board begins its internal and external search for a new chairman and CEO. We also are very appreciative of his service to Motorola over the last 36 years, in particular of his leadership over the last six and a half years as chairman and CEO, as well as his many other contributions," Mr. Pepper added.

Paul V. Galvin, Chris Galvin's grandfather, founded Motorola in 1928. His son, Robert, held the position of chief executive officer from 1964 to 1986. Christopher B. Galvin completed a master's degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He began his career with Motorola in 1967 and moved through the ranks becoming senior vice president and chief corporate staff officer in January 1988. In May 1988, he was elected to the Board of Directors and became executive vice president in May, 1989. He joined the office of the CEO as senior executive vice president and assistant chief operating officer in January 1990. He was elected president and chief operating officer in December 1993, chief executive officer in January 1997, and chairman of the board in June 1999.

The New York Times reported that a possible successor may be Motorola's number two executive, Mike S. Zafirovski, who joined Motorola after leaving General Electric in July 2002.

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