Just seven months after taking over as chief operating officer at Motorola
Inc., Ed Breen is leaving the company and the cable industry to take over as CEO
and chairman of embattled Tyco International Inc.
In a surprise announcement made late Thursday, Breen was tabbed for the Tyco
head office. Motorola, meanwhile, confirmed Breen's departure, saying that his
last day at the cable-equipment and consumer-electronics maker would be July
Motorola initially issued a statement that chairman and CEO Christopher
Galvin would be taking over as interim COO, but in a hasty meeting convened late
Thursday, the company's board appointed Mike Zafirovski, president of Motorola's
Personal Communications Sector, as the new president and COO.
Zafirovski will continue as president of the PCS division until a permanent
replacement is found.
'Obviously, we were able to respond to the events of yesterday having had
only a handful of hours of early alert on what would occur,' Galvin said during
a Friday conference call.
Galvin also indicated that Motorola did not make an effort to retain Breen
after he informed the company of his plans. 'Ed had made his decision to leave
and indicated that that was his call and he preferred not to go through that
process, and we respected it,' he added.
While times have been tough at Motorola recently, the picture isn't much
brighter at Tyco. Breen will take over the electronics, fire-protection and
adhesive-products manufacturer even as rumors of bankruptcy circulate.
Tyco's former CEO, Dennis Kozlowski, resigned in June and is now facing a
criminal indictment related to charges that he did not pay sales tax on $1
million in artwork purchases.
'This is the opportunity of a lifetime,' Breen said in a release. 'I could
not be more excited about leading this great company, with its strong businesses
and market-leading positions. Tyco and its employees have successfully weathered
a very difficult few months, and I am confident that we will put the current
issues behind us and begin to forge ahead.'