Since posting a list of potential candidates for the top job at Motorola’s to-be-spun mobile phone business, we’ve received plenty of feedback. Nearly all of it was about Garriques, and nearly all of it was negative. The gist: Don’t just blame former CEO Ed Zander for Moto’s post-Razr flop. Point a couple of fingers Ron’s way, too:
From commenter “bobthegreat”:
The RAZR was developed while Galvin was the CEO and Dick Lynch run mobile devices. Ron Garriques, who was running Europe at the time, initially thought the phone was ugly. When Zander came and appointed Garriques to lead mobile devices, Ron changed his mind about the RAZR. He then brought in a legion of Mckinsey consultants who created with him a plan to be “number 1 in 1000 days.” It was based on the stupid idea of superficial, brown-nosing consultants that MOT could compete with NOK across the portfolio, including the low end, without addressing fundamental issues such as the silicon and software platforms. Ron never had the leadership to decide what to do to replace MOT’s stone age software platform, a piece of spaghetti code called P2K. It is one of the main reasons why MOT is always late with products, cannot efficiently support carrier branded services and runs at a higher cost than NOK.
When he realised that the ship was sinking, Garriques jumped to Dell with a very sweet deal. I feel sorry for many good people at MOT. But Garriques and his consultants have actually more blame for what has happened than Zander. Zander’s was a sin of omission (he trusted Ron and did not act). Garriqus was just plain incompetent and opportunistic (jumping ship when he saw it was going to sink!)
From an anonymous emailer:
Fact: Ron Garriques’ Market Strategy as President of Motorola’s Cell Phone Sector: lower the price of the Razor really fast to lead in market share! Yes, turn this high class product into an everyday event. Time would prove this philosophy a major stratgical mistake.
Fact: Ron Garriques failed to stimulate his organisation to follow up the Razor with an equal or better product.
Fact: Very few who worked for Ron Garriques in the Cell Phone Division remains at Motorola today. The sector under him, collapsed.
Fact: Ron Garriques jumped ship to Dell when it started sinking.
He’d make a great candidate/leader for Motorola’s turnaround. Right.
From another anonymous emailer:
Ron Garriques? Surely you jest. Garriques was very much responsible for the downfall of The Razor at Motorola in it’s prime. Ask anyone who worked for him. He lowered prices too fast on The Razor and was lame to stimulate the development of a new device to follow the Razor. And when things started turning really bad, he walked away to Dell.
You best do your homework before you hand the cell phone division back to this egotistic clown.
Noted! Meanwhile, readers suggest some additional candidates for Moto’s CEO search. (Here’s our initial list.) Anyone else? Anyone want to say something nice about Ron? Sound off in comments or via our anonymous tip box.
Bill Morrow. Former CEO of Vodafone (VOD) Europe, now at PGE.
Mary T. McDowell. Nokia (NOK) SVP.
Previously: Who Should Lead Motorola’s Turnaround?