Lenovo may be getting Motorola’s handset business after buying the company from Google for around $3 billion, but it won’t be getting the company’s current CEO Dennis Woodside – the 10 year Google veteran will depart both companies for Dropbox, where he’ll be its new Chief Operating Officer.
Woodside joined Google in 2003, and was in charge of the search giant’s ad sales before being shifted to lead the Motorola team when Google acquired that business in 2011. He oversaw the development of the Moto G and Moto X phones during his tenure, and helped the company spearhead some experimental product development, including around Project Ara, a modular smartphone concept design that’s highly user-customizable.
Thus far, Motorola has been run by co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, as CEO and CTO respectively. The founding executives both come from a technical background, as the WSJ notes, and Woodside could provide them with some much-needed expertise in managing a large workforce to help the company handle its rapid (but declining) pace of growth.
There’s a high likelihood that a Dropbox IPO is in the works, and Woodside’s appointment could be part of those efforts, too. The company raised $350 million at a valuation of $10 billion, according to the WSJ, which is $100 million more than originally reported when the round was discovered back in January.
Really, it makes a lot of sense that Woodside wouldn’t follow Motorola to its new home – he’s a sales focused executive who was parachuted into the smartphone company to help to try to shape it up after Google acquired the business. Woodside heading to Lenovo doesn’t make much sense, either for the new owners of Motorola, or for Woodside himself. At Dropbox, he has a chance to become part of the origin story of what could become the next big tech giant, if the cloud storage startup can put down the pedal on continued growth.
Dropbox CEO Drew Houston provided the following statement to TechCrunch regarding Woodside’s appointment as COO:
We’ve long admired Dennis’s leadership at Google and Motorola where he ran multi-billion dollar businesses and built amazing organizations around the world. We’re so happy to welcome Dennis to our team — I can’t imagine a better person to help us bring Dropbox to global scale.