Motorola taps former Qualcomm exec Sanjay Jha for mobility business

Jha and current CEO Greg Brown will serve as co-CEOs

Motorola Inc. today announced that former Qualcomm Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Jha will be the new CEO of Motorola's mobile devices business, which is expected to be spun off in mid-2009.

Jha will also serve as co-CEO of Motorola with Greg Brown, who has been the company's sole CEO until now. At the same time, Brown will become CEO of Motorola's broadband mobility solutions business.

The choice of Jha is a "very good choice," said Jeff Kagan, an independent analyst. "This is a big win on Motorola's part."

While having co-CEOs is an unusual management setup, "maybe that's what it will take to pull the company back onto the playing field," Kagan said.

During the company's second-quarter financial report last week, Brown said a separate mobile device business led by an executive devoted to mobile devices would be the best course of action to benefit stockholders. Brown and Jha appeared in a joint conference call to announce the news to financial analysts at noon Eastern time today, but few details were immediately available.

In addition to holding his former title as Qualcomm's COO, Jha, who is 45, was president of the Qualcomm division that made chips for cell phones.

Jha began his career at Qualcomm in 1994 as a senior engineer who worked on the Globalstar satellite phone. He became vice president of engineering in 1997 and was responsible for the integrated circuit engineering group.

In 2002, he led the creation of Qualcomm Technologies & Ventures, becoming executive vice president of that group in 2003. In December 2006, he was named COO; in that role, he oversaw research and development as well as Qualcomm Flarion Technologies. At that time, he was also president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, the Qualcomm chip set and software division.

He received a Ph.D. in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, and holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Liverpool in England.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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