When Motorola Mobility opened its new headquarters in downtown Chicago last week, the Chicago Public Library (C.P.L.) announced that the Motorola Mobility Foundation “awarded a generous $150,000 grant to the Chicago Public Library Foundation, which will fund CPL’s Maker Lab through June 2015. As the first free public maker space in Chicago, the Maker Lab at Harold Washington Library Center offers patrons an introduction to the latest technology and equipment that are enabling new forms of personal manufacturing and business opportunities. In November 2013, the Chicago Innovation Awards recognized CPL’s Maker Lab as an innovative new service product brought to public service.”
“I want to thank Motorola Mobility and its Foundation for recognizing the work we are doing at Chicago Public Library to expand the public’s access to 21st century ideas and information,” said Library Commissioner Brian Bannon. “Our Maker Lab has already served more than 42,000 visitors in just 10 months, and this gift from the Motorola Mobility Foundation and our Foundation will allow us to offer thousands more patrons hands-on experience with the latest in 3D software and advance manufacturing technology.”
On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Motorola Mobility leadership at the public unveiling of the company’s global headquarters in the Merchandise Mart. In July of 2012, Motorola Mobility announced its relocation from north suburban Libertyville, Illinois to Chicago. Motorola Mobility is one of twenty-seven headquarters that has relocated to Chicago during Mayor Emanuel’s tenure, and it will bring 2,000 jobs to the city.
“The city is thrilled to welcome Motorola Mobility back to downtown Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As a global leader of the rapidly growing technology industry, Motorola Mobility will now have access our exceptional workforce, transportation system and business climate. Motorola Mobility will act as a major economic engine, bringing 2,000 jobs to the city.”
“Today is a special homecoming for Motorola,” said Rick Osterloh, President, Motorola Mobility, LLC. “We got our start in Chicago 86 years ago, and we’re excited to bring a resurgent Motorola back to a city that has become a true global center of talent and technology.”
Founded in Chicago over eighty years ago, Motorola Mobility returns to the city after thirty-eight years in Libertyville. The company is now the Merchandise Mart’s largest tenant and occupies more than 600,000 square feet on the top four floors and the rooftop. The building and the Motorola Offices are LEED Gold certified.
Paul Vincent Galvin (1895-1959), a World War I veteran founded Motorola as the Galvin Manufacturing Company in 1928 after two previous business failures manufacturing storage batteries with partner Edward Stewart. The first product the company made was the dry battery eliminator that allowed radios to operate off electricity from electric outlets.
They soon moved into the manufacture of radio AC sets which twenty others firms purchased and sold to the public under their own brand names. Paul’s brother Joe Galvin supervised the men who built the radios.
The business seemed on the brink of failure with the advent of the Great Depression, but a supplier suggested Galvin look at the manufacture of automobile radios, which was then done on a custom basis. P.V. Galvin was able to demonstrate a prototype for a mass-produced car radio in time for the Radio Manufacturer's Association Convention in Atlantic City in June 1930.
That same year, he came up with the brand name Motorola. In 1937, Motorola re-entered the home radio market. Two years later, they began to manufacture police radios.
In 1941, Motorola introduced the “Handi-Talkie” radio for the U.S. Army. Six years later, thanks to the work of two engineering teams, Motorola came out with a television set that had a retail price almost half of RCA’s. In 1956, Paul Galvin became chairman of the board and his son, Bob Galvin (1922-2011), became president of the company.
Two years later, Bob Galvin became C.E.O. of Motorola. He continued to be C.E.O. until 1986, after which he remained Chairman of the Board. Bob Galvin and engineer Bill Smith (1929-1993) introduced the Six Sigma style of quality management, which became world-famous through its adoption by G.E.
The U.S. Government awarded Motorola one of the first Malcom Baldridge awards. President Ronald Reagan presented the award to Bob Galvin.
Motorola’s wireless telephone division was a pioneer in the manufacture of cellular phones (also known as mobile phones). The Motorola MicroTAC was an early flip phone first manufactured in 1989 and the Motorola StarTAC was an early clamshell-type flip phone first manufactured in 1996.
The company came under pressure from other cell phone manufacturers but had a market resurgence in the mid-2000s with the RAZR. Increasingly, Motorola relied on Google’s open-source Android operating system (O.S.). Late in 2009, Motorola released the first phone to use Android 2.0, Motorola Droid, the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) variant of which is called Motorola Milestone.
After Motorola, Inc. lost $4,300,000,000 between 2007 and 2009, the company’s leadership divided it into two publicly traded companies: Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. This went into effect January 4, 2011.
In 2012, Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12,500,000,000 ($45 per share). Google would no longer have to license Android’s operating system for smart phones. Motorola Mobility had 1,700 active patents at the time.
On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, Google C.E.O. Larry Page announced, “Sanjay Jha, who was responsible for building the company and placing that big bet on Android, has stepped down as CEO. I would like to thank him for his efforts and am tremendously pleased that he will be working to ensure a smooth transition as long-time Googler Dennis Woodside takes over as CEO of Motorola Mobility.”
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. 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. As an Ironman triathlete, he’s got plenty of energy for the journey ahead—and he’s already off to great start with some very strong new hires for the Motorola team.
On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Google announced it would sell Motorola Mobility – except for the patents – to the Chinese computer manufacturing company Lenovo. “Lenovo and Google today have entered into a definitive agreement under which Lenovo plans to acquire the Motorola Mobility smartphone business. With a strong PC business and a fast-growing smartphone business, this agreement will significantly strengthen Lenovo’s position in the smartphone market. In addition, Lenovo will gain a strong market presence in North America and Latin America, as well as a foothold in Western Europe, to complement its strong, fast-growing smartphone business in emerging markets around the world.”
The purchase price is approximately US$2.91 billion (subject to certain adjustments), including US$1.41 billion paid at close, comprised of US$660 million in cash and US$750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a share cap/floor). The remaining US$1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.
Lenovo, which in 2005 acquired IBM’s PC business and its legendary PC brand, will now acquire world-renowned Motorola Mobility, including the MOTOROLA brand and Motorola Mobility's portfolio of innovative smartphones like the Moto X and Moto G and the DROID™ Ultra series. In addition to current products, Lenovo will take ownership of the future Motorola Mobility product roadmap.
Google will maintain ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.
Motorola Mobility enjoys outstanding brand awareness around the world, and is currently the #3 Android smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. and #3 manufacturer overall in Latin America.
“The acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a strong global competitor in smartphones. We will immediately have the opportunity to become a strong global player in the fast-growing mobile space,” said Yang Yuanqing, C hairman and CEO of Lenovo.
“We are confident that we can bring together the best of both companies to deliver products customers will love and a strong, growing business. Lenovo has a proven track record of successfully embracing and strengthening great brands – as we did with IBM’s Think brand – and smoothly and efficiently integrating companies around-the-world. I am confident we will be successful with this process, and that our companies will not only maintain our current momentum in the market, but also build a strong foundation for the future.”
“Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola Mobility into a major player within the Android ecosystem. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere,” said Page.
“As part of Lenovo, Motorola Mobility will have a rapid path to achieving our goal of reaching the next 100 million people with the mobile Internet. With the recent launches of Moto X and Moto G, we have tremendous momentum right now and Lenovo’s hardware expertise and global reach will only help to accelerate this,” said Woodside.
According to the C.P.L., “Chicago’s tech sector has recently grown to a total of 40,000 jobs, adding 10,000 jobs since Mayor Emanuel took office in 2011. In 2012, a new start-up was launched in Chicago every day, which was more than triple what it was just two years prior. As no other industry has grown so rapidly, Mayor Emanuel has called for the creation of 40,000 new jobs in technology over the next decade to double the size of Chicago’s economy.”