You can tell that a company is undergoing a significant transition phase when its top brass start dropping off, which might be the case here for Motorola. The latest exec to leave its ranks is, quite sadly, Punit Soni, Motorola’s Vice President for Product Management.

Beyond that formal executive title, Punit Soni is more known as the public face of Motorola’s software efforts. Originally a Google employee, he was promoted to his current (now former) position in 2012 after search giant acquired Motorola Mobility. And he has been there to assure Motorola fans of the company’s commitment to a pure Android experience for its flagship devices. Whether that will still hold under Lenovo‘s administration and without Soni to push for it still remains to be seen.

This news couldn’t have come at a worse time, though is there really a good time to announce leaving a company you’ve helped grow (aside from trying to jump from a sinking ship)? Soni isn’t the first Moto exec to leave the fold either. CEO Dennis Woodside was, in fact, the first to depart in February this year. This followed the Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google and Soni’s departure might spark some questions and maybe even anxiety about the company’s future direction. The timing is also a bit difficult considering that new Motorola mobile devices, including its first smartwatch, just got announced. Although the new Moto X, the new Moto G, and the Moto 360 have so far garnered positive initial feedback, their actual performance still has to be validated in the wild. And that will be a period when Soni’s familiar presence might be needed the most.

The Motorola exec hasn’t yet revealed where he is going, if he’s going anywhere. This leaves the door open for many possibilities, including perhaps going back to the Google mothership. In his Google+ post announcing his departure, Punit Soni shared his most memorable Motorola experience to date, and that was when he announced to a captivated audience in Brazil the first Moto G, a remarkable smartphone that Motorola and Soni rightly deserves to be proud of.

SOURCE: +Punit Soni