Engadget posts scathing open letter from former Motorola insider

Engadget has posted an open letter from former Motorala advisor Numair Faraz to CEO Greg Brown.

Regarding Ed Zander, former Motorola CEO, and Geoffrey Frost, Motorola Chief Marketing Officer, who was responsible for the original RAZR:

After the success of the RAZR, while Geoffrey was tied up every which way in ROKR development, meetings, criscrossing travel, and so on, through his associates I implored the company to beef up their software expertise, and focus on creating socially networked devices (this was in the years before MySpace and Facebook became the juggernauts they are today). Your predecessor, Ed Zander, had little interest in this, and instead insisted on parlaying his relationship with Steve Jobs into the ill-fated ROKR effort in order to prop up Motorola’s stock price.

MacDailyNews Take: Boy, Jobs sure played that moron Zander by having Motorola screw around with that piece of crap while Apple was concurrently developing a secret little project called “iPhone.”

Zander, who seemed to care more about his golf score than running one of America’s greatest technology companies, left all of the hard work to Geoffrey; I’ve always considered it Motorola’s dirty little secret that the strategy for their entire profit machine was run by the company’s CMO — not the rest of the company’s executives, who are as inept now as they have ever been.

Many close to Geoffrey believed Ed Zander worked him to death, putting the pressure of the fate of the company in his hands. I took his untimely death in 2005 very hard, and knew that the company would head downhill in the aftermath. On a personal note, Lynne, his wife blamed the company for his passing. She committed suicide soon after.

Full article — very highly recommended — here.

May 10, 2007: Motorola Chairman (until May) and then-CEO Ed Zander said his company was ready for competition from Apple’s iPhone, due out the following month. “How do you deal with that?” Zander was asked at the Software 2007 conference Wednesday in Santa Clara, Calif. Zander quickly retorted, “How do they deal with us?”IDG News Service


  1. Just looked at Zander’s page on Wikipedia and discovered he’s ex-Data General: a company that designed and made great products – many thanks to Tom West and the people he inspired – undone by sales and marketing management that would have difficulty walking and chewing gum simultaneously.

    Once you know that fact, nearly everything else barely comes as a surprise.

  2. More evidence of fish rotting from the head down in corrupt corporate America. Motorola deserves what it’s getting. It’s sad that the non-management employees have to suffer because of the arrogance and incompetence of the executives.

  3. Tragically, I see Motorola closing down within a few years.

    The fact that they are a technology company that has a CEO that doesnt even use a computer is unbelievable.

    That alone indicates that the company is so out of touch its beyond any logical thought.

    How on earth can a modern technology based business be run with any sort of competence by a CEO who cant even use email???

  4. Having used Moto products in every arena from landmobile radio through Bluetooth headsets and cellphones, I can say one thing categorically:

    Motorola has no idea how to build a reasonable user interface for its products.

    This, more than anything else, spells the doom of the company for me.

    Sell them short.

    MW: hope, as in “There ain’t none.”

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