- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) | Motorola Inc. snagged Sanjay Jha, the chief operating officer of Qualcomm Inc. and a star of the wireless industry, to head its handset division as that unit prepares to become an independent company.

Mr. Jha will also be co-chief executive of the parent company, sharing the responsibility with incumbent Greg Brown until the spinoff next year. Mr. Brown will take responsibility for Motorola’s other two divisions.

Motorola shares rose $1.01, 11.5 percent, to close at $9.82 Monday.

Mr. Brown said Mr. Jha “brings a whole host of different ingredients to the table,” including customer relationships, technical expertise and leadership abilities.

Mr. Jha, 45, has a doctorate in electronic and electrical engineering. In addition to being Qualcomm’s chief operating officer, he was president of the Qualcomm division that made chips for cell phones.

Analysts uniformly praised the appointment.

“We are hard-pressed to imagine a better candidate than Dr. Jha,” said Citigroup analyst Jim Suva.

Goldman Sachs analysts Simona Jankowski and Thomas Lee called it “a big win” for Motorola and a loss for Qualcomm.

“We believe he is very well respected both in industry and in the investor community,” the analysts wrote. “From Motorola’s perspective, we expect this will improve the company’s competitive positioning.”

Qualcomm shares fell $2.60, or 4.7 percent, to end at $52.87.

Motorola’s handset unit had a smash hit with the Razr phone in 2004 and 2005, but has been unable to produce an equally popular follow-up. However, Motorola last week announced that it had reversed a trend of declining sales and shipped 28.1 million cell phones in the second quarter, up from 27 million in the first.

Mr. Jha will receive 3.7 million restricted Motorola stock units, worth approximately $35 million at Monday’s stock price, and options to buy 16.6 million shares. If the spinoff of the handset division is completed, those awards would apply to the new company’s stock, and Mr. Jha would receive additional stock and option awards to give him a 3 percent stake in the company.

If the spinoff does not happen before Oct. 31, 2010, Mr. Jha will get $30 million cash.

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