Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) made a gargantuan grab for Motorola last summer. In February, regulators rubber-stamped the buyout plan. Now, the last chapter in the Google-Motorola courtship appears to be written, as the tech giant selected a veteran of its advertising biz to lead the division.
Dennis Woodside, Google’s President of Americas operations, will become the CEO of Motorola Mobility, according to Bloomberg reports.
Woodside is head of North America sales, including display ads and AdWords, and has been an employee at Google since 2003. Current Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha appears destined for a pink sleep.
According to a Business Insider report, ”sources say Woodside is a ‘smart guy with strong analytical skills,’ but not charismatic.”
Woodside has been involved in executive musical chairs before. He was selected to replace Tim Armstrong after the advertising guru left Google to head up AOL (NYSE:AOL).But according to Business Insider, “A source close to Google said he was removed from that role after a year or two.”
Google didn’t comment on the Bloomberg report, saying the Motorola Mobility acquisition has not yet closed.
Google’s move to purchase Motorola signals an aspiration to be more like its top tech rival, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and get into the hardware game. Google’s Android operating system is great, but not the cash cow that Apple has created with its iPhone and seamless integration of slick software with attractive hardware.
Time will tell whether the move has merit. But whether the strategy succeeds or fails depends largely on who is driving the Googorola bus. And right now, Woodside appears to be at the wheel.