Sanjay Jha played a big role in the Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility as CEO, and it was obvious from day one that he wouldn’t survive the buyout. Sanjay negotiated a $65 million dollar golden parachute for himself, and now that US and European regulators have approved the deal, he’s getting cashed out.
Google’s motivations for buying Motorola have been debated back and forth since the announcement of the buyout was made. The patents and patent applications that Motorola owns are the real key to the buyout. Google has few patents or patent applications in mobile, but Motorola has over 17,000 granted patents and more than 7,500 pending patent applications.
But there’s also this other theory, the one that says that Google wants to sell devices under their own brand. Now, I’ve previously stated that I thought that Google would kill off the Motorola name, but I don’t think that’s what will end up happening. I think that Google will maintain Motorola, and use the acquired Motorola resources and relationships to manufacture the new line of Google branded phones, tablets and entertainment devices that are just out over the horizon.
And Sanjay Jha won’t be there to screw any of it up.
The original Droid was the best Android phone available back on 11/6/09, but that didn’t last long. Sanjay’s Motorola has turned out nothing but average at best devices since, and even though I hear that the Razr Maxx is a killer device, I see that as more of a blind squirrel thing. You know that old saying; even a blind squirrel can find a nut every now and again.
I know, the guy gets the credit for turning Motorola around. Only he didn’t. Sanjay oversaw a Motorola mired in mediocrity, turning out average phones with shitty screens that all looked a lot alike. Google needed patents and manufacturing relationships, and thanks to ineffective leadership at the top, Motorola takes care of both needs, at a reasonable enough price.
If the rumors end up coming to pass, Google will appoint Dennis Woodside to lead Motorola. Woodside is the former head of ad sales for the Americas, and apparently he doesn’t know a damn thing about the mobile device business that he’s taking over.
And Google still prefers Woodside and his total lack of experience to Sanjay Jha.
Cash your check Sanjay and get on with your life’s work. You may not have turned Motorola around, but you kept the ship afloat long enough to get a fat payday for your shareholders and for yourself.
Well played Sanjay, well played.