Is Motorola a Google subsidy, or a company Google has a financial interest in? Will they become part of the search giant, as Nokia is with Microsoft, or continue to act independently? Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside recently gave an interview with the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette in which he highlights some of those very concerns. According to the new boss, things will change, but not because Google is demanding it.
In the interview, Woodside re-iterated a few points we’ve heard before, and made some overtures about just how separate they operate from their parent company. According to Woodside, Google is essentially the best shareholder you could ask for, allowing the company time to right itself and pursue long-term goals. “You also have to (believe in) the long-run value of having everybody connected on high-quality devices that can access all the services that we’re used to. Only Google has that long-term mindset.” said Woodside.
Though their quick rollout of Android 4.4 had many wondering, Woodside insists they get the newest version of Android on the same timeframe as others. “We get the code for the next-version Android at the same time as everybody else” Woodside quipped while making reference to the stonewall they run into as an independent entity. Motorola has no access to Google’s data, internal tools, or any other proprietary Google stuff. Motorola operates wholly separate, though expectations can be hard to manage:
The expectations are really high. You have people at Motorola who expect, now that Google owns us, we’re going to do everything together. You have outsiders who expect a completely different software or hardware strategy because the companies are now together.
Another challenge is more internal. Managing the cultural shift from a company that had been very engineering-led and driven, but not as consumer-led and driven as we want to become.
Together, but separate. That’s the new look Motorola as it relates to Google. While some may assume the Google owned company would simply be a hardware branch, it isn’t. To that end, Woodside notes that they're morphing from a hardware company to one that aims to deliver on services. "Our product is not necessarily the hardware, but the mobile Web" said Woodside, who went on to adeptly point out the Moto G was specced similarly to the iPhone, but offered at 1/4 the price.