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Motorola taps former Sun prez Zander as new chief

CEO at long last

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Motorola has tapped Ed Zander, the fast-talking former President of Sun Microsystems, as its new Chairman and CEO.

As of Jan 5., Zander will realize his dream of heading a major company with Motorola's Mike Zafirovski remaining President and Chief Operating Officer. Zafirovski has been seen as a potential candidate for the CEO job.

Zander replaces Chris Galvin who decided to retire from his role as CEO. The Galvin family had ruled Motorola for three generations.

"This is a big company, and there is a lot of work to get done here," Zander said, during a conference call to announce the move.

As President of Sun, Zander served as Scott McNealy's right hand man. He has a reputation for taking a used car salesman type approach to selling technology, talking big, talking fast and cracking jokes. At Sun, Zander helped drive tremendous growth during the dot-com boom. The executive then left Sun during the downturn - about a year and half ago - to take a position at investment firm Silver Lake Partners.

Zander, once considered for the HP CEO job, has long pined for a job atop a major company. He was also interviewed for the WorldCom CEO job that ended up in the hands of Mike Capellas.

Zander was quick to start cracking jokes about how he will get to know Zafirovski in the coming months.

"We'll go to charm school together and sit in the hot tub like we do in California and get to know each other," he said.

Motorola is far from Zander's roots in the server business. The company has moved to offload a struggling chip making business and is trying to regain share in the handset market. In addition, Motorola has a wide range of businesses, including automotive engine test software and homologation engineering and test services - whatever that is. In recent years, Motorola has cut tens of thousands of jobs. ®

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