Beleaguered Motorola chief Ed Zander has resigned as chief executive, the company announced Friday.
He will be replaced by president and COO Greg Brown, 47, from January 1, 2008.
Zander, 60, will remain chairman until the annual general meeting in May. His resignation was long-expected by analysts and investors following the slide in market share and profitability in the past two years.
'Next year marks my 40th year in the technology industry,' Zander said in a statement. 'This is the right time for me to move on to the next phase in my life and spend more time with my family.'
Motorola has fallen to third place behind Samsung in global handset market rankings, according to research firm Gartner. Its third quarter market share fell to 13.1%, compared with 20.7% a year ago.
The company has struggled to maintain handset sales since its smash hit Razr phone three years ago. Executives have admitted the company had failed to renew its product portfolio.
Zander's resignation comes after a year of boardroom and shareholder pressure, with activist investor Carl Icahn waging an aggressive campaign to win a board seat.
Icahn said in a statement that Zander's departure was a positive step but did 'not even begin to address the major problems at Motorola'. He believes the company should be broken up into separate handset, enterprise mobility, home networking and infrastructure companies.
Brown has been president and COO since March and was elected to the board earlier this year.
He joined Motorola in 2003 from network management firm Micromuse. In his time at Motorola he led the $3.9 billion acquisition of Symbol Technologies, the second largest transaction in Motorola's history, and took the automotive division to profitability.