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More turmoil at Motorola: Rick Osterloh is out, mobile operations split between business groups
Lenovo continues to break up and absorb the remnants of Motorola. The latest victim of the process is Rick Osterloh, the company veteran that ran Motorola since Dennis Woodside’s departure in February 2014.
“Rick Osterloh has decided to leave Motorola Mobility. His steady leadership since Lenovo’s acquisition is appreciated and Lenovo wishes him continued success in the future,” said Lenovo in a press release. Osterloh, who first came into the spotlight in 2013 when he was filmed holding the unreleased Moto X, has held the position of President of Motorola through the lengthy integration process of the legendary mobile maker into Lenovo.
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Just last month, Osterloh said that there was “basically no change” between the way Motorola was doing things under Google and under Lenovo’s ownership. Now Rick Osterloh is out, with Aymar de Lencquesaing, former head of Lenovo North America, set to take his place starting April 1.
This is more than an executive shuffle. Lenovo’s mobile business will be reorganized and split between two business groups. The PC Group will be “realigned” as the PC & Smart Device Business Group, that will handle “PCs, detatchables, tablets, phablets, gaming and smart home products across Windows, Chrome and Android based products.” Note the interesting inclusion of phablets; it’s not clear what Lenovo understands by “phablet,” but it looks like Lenovo is trying to separate product lines based on size, not platform or utility.
Meanwhile, the Mobile Business Group will be co-presided by Xudong Chen and Aymar de Lencquesaing, who will report to group CEO Yuanqing Yang. Chen will handle the China mobile operations, while de Lencquesaing will be in charge with international markets.
Canada-born Aymar de Lencquesaing joined Lenovo in 2013, after stints at Packard-Bell and Softbank among others. He took over leadership of the North American division in April 2015.
Today’s announcement does not mention any of Lenovo’s mobile brands. After reports emerged in January that the brand Motorola will be phased out, Lenovo insisted that the change is a mere formalization of an older state of facts and that it will continue to release devices under the Moto brand. But if you had any doubts left that old Motorola is gone, this announcement should clear them.
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