Cable Operators

Google Shakes Up Motorola Team

7/09/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Google may be looking to dispel cable operators’
fears that it is abandoning the cable-technology sector
by hiring Marwan Fawaz — one of the best-known tech
executives in the industry — to run its set-top business.

Fawaz, previously chief technology officer of Charter
Communications, late last month was named executive
vice president of Motorola Mobility’s
cable-focused Home unit. Motorola
Mobility president Dan Moloney resigned
to pursue other opportunities,
the company said.

The executive swap-out came about a
month after Google closed the $12.5 billion
cash deal for Motorola Mobility on
May 22. The acquisition was driven as
much by Motorola Mobility’s people and
products as for its rich trove of 17,000-
plus patents, Google executive chairman
Eric Schmidt said at the company’s
shareholder meeting last month.

Google has pledged to run Motorola
Mobility as an independent entity, and
will continue to break out the company’s
financial results in earnings announcements.
Dennis Woodside,
previously president of Google’s Americas region, is now
CEO of Motorola Mobility.

Fawaz’s appointment could help reassure cable-operator
customers that Motorola Mobility is committed to the
industry, according to Parks Associates analysts Brett Sappington
and Jim O’Neill.

“Operators have been wary of Motorola due to [its] new
connection with Google (and Google’s advertising business),”
the analysts said. Fawaz “should also help Motorola
focus on the realities operators are facing in today’s
markets.”

However, the move may indicate that Google wants to
exit the set-top business, according to Jeff Heynen, Infonetics
Research’s directing analyst for broadband access
and video.

“It’s a rather clear signal that Google is looking to sell the
Home division,” Heynen wrote in an email. “Fawaz has the
right background in cable technology and venture capital
to help position the Home assets for the best possible return
during a sale.”

Speculation that Google would spin off Motorola started
last August, on the very day the proposed acquisition was
announced. Motorola itself, in 2009, was shopping around
the Home division, with an asking price in the neighborhood
of $4.5 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Fawaz, who has spent more than
two decades in cable, formerly served
as chairman of CableLabs’ Technical
Advisory Committee. He received
a National Cable & Telecommunications
Association Vanguard Award for
Science & Technology in 2010 and is a
longtime member of the Society of Cable
Telecommunications Engineers.

He resigned from Charter in March
2011, and subsequent ly became a
founding partner of Sarepta Advisors, a
Denver-based consulting firm.

Among other recent execut ive
changes at Motorola, chief technology
officer Geoff Roman has resigned.
Matt Bell, previously with Sarepta
and former vice president of Internet
Protocol network and development
at Charter, is joining Motorola Mobility as senior vice
president of strategy and technology.

Jim Buckley, formerly with Sarepta and Adelphia Communications,
has joined Motorola Mobility as corporate
vice president of finance, replacing John Tracy.

“Marwan has more than 26 years of experience in the
broadband-communications industry, encompassing engineering,
technical operations and business development
and is a top strategist in developing innovative solutions
to drive tomorrow’s IP transformation,” Motorola said in
a statement.

Comcast chief technology officer Tony Werner, in a
statement supplied by Motorola, said: “Dan Moloney has
been a terrific partner, and while it’s disappointing to see
him go, it’s great to have someone the caliber of Marwan
Fawaz join Motorola Home. Marwan brings extensive industry
knowledge and an innovative and collaborative
approach that will greatly benefit Motorola Home, its customers
and partners.”

Moloney originally joined Motorola with its acquisition
of General Instrument in 2000 and assumed leadership of
the combined Home & Networks Mobility business in 2007.

In 2009, Moloney left Motorola to become the CEO of
Philadelphia-area electronic components manufacturer
Technitrol, then returned to the company in September
2010 with an annual base salary of $650,000.

“Dan has led the company through one of the most exciting
periods in its 84-year history — and, in the last two
years, revived Motorola’s innovation and drove the company’s
evolution into a software and network technology
leader in the home ecosystem,” Motorola Mobility said in
a statement. “We thank Dan for all of his contributions to
Motorola and to the industry at large.”

Moloney is the recipient of the National Cable & Telecommunications
Association’s 2012 Vanguard Award for
Associates and Affiliates.

Timeline: Fawaz’s Cable Gigs

January 1996: VP of engineering and operations,
MediaOne Group

July 2000: Chief technology officer, Infinity
Broadband

July 2001: Regional VP of operations, Charter
Communications’ Northwest region

May 2002: Investment specialist/technology
analyst, Vulcan Inc., the investment company of
then-Charter chairman Paul Allen

March 2003: CTO, Adelphia Communications

August 2006: CTO, Charter

January: Partner, Sarepta Advisors


June:
Executive VP, Motorola Mobility’s Home
unit


Source:
Multichannel News research