Motorola CEO Zander Replaced With Brown

Analysts Expect Advertising to Be Dialed Back

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SAN FRANCISCO ( -- Motorola will replace CEO Edward J. Zander, the man who put the company on the marketing map, with Chief Operating Officer Greg Brown effective Jan. 1. Mr. Zander, 60, continues as chairman of the board until the company's annual stockholders meeting in May.
Ed Zander
Ed Zander Credit: Robin Weiner

"Mr. Zander is a real marketing guy. Greg Brown is much more of an operations guy," said Ellen Daley, an analyst with Forrester Research. "Mr. Zander really changed Motorola's uber brand in the marketplace," she said.

In need of blockbuster
Under Mr. Brown, Motorola is likely to focus on bringing business units together and driving costs out of the supply chain, she said. In terms of advertising, "I suspect he is going to dial it back a hair," particularly in relation to branding, she said.

Some say it's going to take more than cost-cutting. Put simply, Mr. Brown needs to come up with a hot phone to market. "Motorola has got issues they've got to solve -- they've had them for a decade," said Jeff Kagan, an independent telecommunications analyst. "They need to come out with another hot phone. It's not a secret what they have to do to make up lost ground. The question is why they haven't done it," he said.

In a year when touch screens and iPhone lookalikes are flooding the marketplace, Motorola doesn't have a similar product. "The iPhone started a trend. Where's Motorola?" said Mr. Kagan.

Rise of Razr
During his four years as chairman, Mr. Zander rode Motorola's comeback as a mobile-phone manufacturer with the rise of the Razr. The slim phone became one of the nation's hottest handsets. But as the price of the Razr dropped, with many given away by carriers, Motorola stumbled in finding a follow-up act. Some marketing experts believe it made a mistake by trying to build out the Razr franchise with phones called the Rokr, Krzr and most recently the Razr2.

In Gartner data released this month, Motorola slipped from second to third place in global market share. Samsung rose from No. 3 to No. 2 behind leader Nokia. Motorola's share fell to 13.1% in the three months ending Sept. 30, down from 20.7% last year and 14.6% in the second quarter of 2007.

During Mr. Zander's tenure, Motorola's Razr strategy and the marketing behind it -- driven by Exec VP-CMO Geoffrey Frost -- drew acclaim backed by financial results. However, after Mr. Frost's death, the strategy foundered. Mr. Zander filled Mr. Frost's position with package-goods veteran Casey Keller, who has made a number of modifications in Mr. Frost's smorgasbord approach to working with agencies. Mr. Keller dropped Omnicom Group's BBDO as its lead shop, retaining the agency for its business-to-business account. Motorola also is in the process of negotiating with WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather as worldwide global distribution agency of record. It also continues working with a number of creative shops.

Motorola and Ogilvy executives did not return calls and e-mails requesting comment by deadline.

Motorola spent $43 million in marketing in 2006 and $15 million for the first eight months of this year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
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