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Meet the Guy That Turned Down a Job at Apple to Take Over Motorola Mobility


Google has one of their best men in charge of the household-name company.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Can you imagine the lucky person who wonders, "Should I take Tim Cook's offer to work at Apple (AAPL)? Or would I be better off with this promotion at Google (GOOG)?"

This is the kind of dilemma that most of us can just dream about, but it is exactly the choice that faced Dennis Woodside.

Woodside was just promoted to CEO of Motorola Mobility (MMI) where he will oversee Google's foray into hardware. The $12.5 billion acquisition, Google's biggest, was approved yesterday.

Apple had been trying to bring Woodside on as head of sales, but Google promised him greater responsibilities, according to Businessweek. The acquisition of Motorola was an ideal opportunity for Google to recruit Woodside.

Dennis Woodside"[Larry Page] said, 'I know you've been looking for a challenge,'" Woodside said. "'I want you to run Motorola. I think you'd be great at it. Can you let me know by tonight?'"

As CEO, Woodside is inheriting a faltering business. Motorola Mobility lost $86 million on $3.1 billion in revenue in the last quarter after losing $249 million last year. Motorola placed its bets on Android in 2009 with its Droid line of smartphones and Xoom tablets. It quickly took 4.8% of the smartphone market, but with the ascendance of Samsung (SSNLF.PK), its market share fell to 3.3% in 2011.

Google provides the Android system for free, and manufacturers are able to modify the OS with skins and software. App developers and users are sometimes annoyed by the "bloatware" and crashy proprietary skins. Google has partnerships to make Nexus phones. Now that it owns its own company, Google can exercise more control over what is now a fragmented Android ecosystem.

"This is a huge opportunity to really show what Android can do in a well-designed, well-packaged, and well-marketed product," Woodside told Businessweek.

This isn't great news for HTC, Samsung, LG, and the countless other handset makers that build Android devices. Samsung is even preemptively developing its own OS called Bada.

Woodside's career before joining Google in 2003 included mergers and acquisitions law and consulting for McKinsey. He replaced Tim Armstrong as head of sales in the Americas when Armstrong left for AOL (AOL) in 2009.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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