The smartphone market is unsurprisingly packed and competitive these days, and whether directly or indirectly, the fierce competition has led to more than a couple high-level executives leaving their positions at their respective companies in pursuit of new goals and careers. The latest is Motorola's design lead, Jim Wicks, who was reported earlier this afternoon to be leaving his long-standing role at the now Lenovo-owned phone brand for a position as a full-time faculty member at Northwestern University at their Segal Design Institute.
Wicks' exit from Motorola follows that of Rick Osterloh, who just barely left his role as the most recent President of Motorola back at the end of April to head up the new unified hardware division at Google, which in itself was an interesting move as Osterloh previously worked for Google when Motorola was part of the company. With Wicks leaving, it doesn't necessarily spell out any doom and gloom for Motorola, as they seem to have a clear path forward under the leadership of Lenovo, and will now be known as the Moto brand. Regardless, the absence of Wicks' presence is sure to be felt given he was the man behind the design of two of Motorola's popular and groundbreaking devices, the original Moto X, and the original Moto 360 smartwatch that launched back in the Summer of 2014.
Wicks has been a part of Motorola since 2001, and although the Moto X and Moto 360 are more recent popular devices, he was also onboard during the design of the RAZR, which might still be Motorola's most well-known device, meaning Motorola is losing an integral part of their design team. Even though two of Motorola's high-level executives are now gone, Motorola's recent announcements of the Moto Z lineup and the earlier announced Moto G4 family of devices displays that the company has plenty of life left in it, and, through continued perseverance should have no trouble being a staple in the mobile device industry. Time will tell of course, if Motorola loses any more of its senior staff. Jim Wicks is reported to start up at Northwestern as early as next month, teaching design courses, as well as providing mentorship for teams of design students.