Dennis Woodside is the new CEO of Motorola Mobility. His appointment, announced on Tuesday, comes after Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) $12.5 billion acquisition of the mobile device manufacturer cleared the last international regulatory hurdle.
While Woodside isn’t well known with the public, he’s a hot commodity in Silicon Valley. So hot that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) tried to lure him away from Google to become head of sales, according to the TheVerge.
With a degree in industrial relations from Cornell University and a law degree from Stanford University, Woodside clerked with a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in New York before heading to Los Angeles as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer.
After joining Google in 2003, Woodside managed the newly public company’s overseas operations. He spearheaded the launch of Google’s first international offices before being promoted to managing director of emerging markets.
After working abroad for years, Woodside returned to the U.S. in 2009, as vice president of American operations, where he worked to boost advertising sales (ad revenue rose from $10.8 billion in 2009 to $17.5 billion in 2011). Last year, he was promoted again to senior vice president, and directed the restructuring of Motorola Mobility in the wake of the acquisition.
For a Google executive, Woodside keeps a low online profile. He doesn’t have a public Google+ account, and his LinkedIn (NASDAQ:LNKD) page was recently withdrawn, TheVerge noted.
As Motorola’s new CEO, Woodside replaces Sanjay Jha, who was recently ranked as one of the country’s highest paid CEOs.
Turning Motorola Mobility around won’t be easy. The company lost $249 million last year. Woodside has indicated that Motorola will remain a player in the mobile device market. That could worry other Android device manufacturers, which might conclude that Google will favor its in-house manufacturing arm, possibly fracturing its current partnerships.