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Google Completes Motorola Mobility Acquisition

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF.: Google has completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. in a deal worth $12.5 billion originally announced last summer. 

Google says the acquisition will enable the company to “supercharge” the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business. 

Sanjay Jha, who headed up Motorola’s Mobility and led the company through the acquisition, has stepped down as CEO. He will be replaced by Dennis Woodside, who has overseen integration planning for the acquisition and previously served as President of Google’s Americas region. Woodside has hired a number of executives from the likes of Amazon, DARPA, Marsh & McLennan, Visa and NVIDIA to his executive team.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “I’m happy to announce the deal has closed. Motorola is a great American tech company, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation. It’s a great time to be in the mobile business, and I’m confident that the team at Motorola will be creating the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come.

“Sanjay Jha, who was responsible for building the company and placing a big bet on Android, has stepped down as CEO. I would like to thank him for his efforts and am tremendously pleased that he will be working to ensure a smooth transition as long-time Googler Dennis Woodside takes over as CEO of Motorola Mobility. “I’ve known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he’s been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google’s biggest bets. Dennis has always been a committed partner to our customers and I know he will be an outstanding leader of Motorola--and he’s already off to great start with some very strong new hires for the Motorola team.”

While it’s been well known that Google’s incentive to acquire Motorola was to gain access to more than 25,000 patents, the acquisition also makes the company one of the world’s largest provider of cable set-top boxes. Motorola acquired set top maker General Instruments in 1999 in a stock deal worth $11 billion deal—almost as much as the Google deal. Reports surfaced several months ago that Google was considering selling off the box division once the acquisition was complete, but a Motorola executive told TV Technology sister publication Multichannel News at the Cable Show on Monday, that "We're still here today, and we'll still be here tomorrow... that's not changing,” and that it will be business as usual for the foreseeable future.