Motorola on Monday announced a major change in its executive management, revealing its current leader Aymar de Lencquesaing is stepping down; the new position of President and Chairman will be filled by long-time company official Sergio Buniac. Mr. de Lencquesaing decided to focus on his personal life earlier this year and Motorola has been searching for his replacement for several weeks now, according to the company. His replacement has been working at Motorola for over 20 years, with a CV that highlights "end-to-end industry experience" in growing the company's business to becoming the second largest smartphone maker in Latin America, as well as experience in strategic planning and product management. As part of the same announcement, Motorola confirmed its first Android handsets of the year will be announced next month.
Lenovo, which purchased Motorola from Google several years ago, has been struggling with the brand, with recent reports indicating massive layoffs and product cancelations. The reports were so concerning that the company was forced to issue an official statement to clarify the matter, stating that such concerns were overblown. There has often been confusion as to just what Lenovo's long-term strategy with Motorola is; initially, it was reported that Lenovo and Motorola brands would remain separate, only for the vision to apparently be shifted to a single unified brand (Moto) which seemingly explained how a phone like the Moto M – a device lacking many of Motorola's signature software enhancements – made it to market. In addition, Lenovo's leadership itself had at one point indicated Motorola phones would use a new custom version of Android, only for those comments to be rolled back and clarified to mean it was a possible option going forward.
Motorola is still enjoying success in Latin America and a number of other emerging markets but as Huawei, OPPO, and others continue their dominance in China and gradually expand their operations, Motorola's potential sales pool could further be diminished. The brand name has high market penetration in America, and recent partnerships with Amazon have made Motorola phones available to Prime members at discounted prices, which may be a strategy that the firm continues pursuing going forward.