Sanjay Jha, Co-CEO of Motorola - Execs to Watch 2009

Why you need to watch him:

Sanjay Jha was lured away from Qualcomm in August 2008 to take the helm of Motorola's ailing mobile devices division and the industry has been anxiously awaiting signs that Jha will be able to turn things around. The expectations, analysis, speculation and pressure is only increasing in 2009 as Motorola faces one of the most difficult times in its history.

Jha's arrival probably had little impact on Motorola's third quarter numbers, when the handset maker reported a $397 million loss at the end of October and said it would cut 3,000 jobs in 2009. However, at that time he also said that the company would focus on Windows Mobile and Android-based phones, and would look to have an Android phone on the market by the end of 2009.

That has not stopped the bleeding in the interim though. In December, Motorola said it would freeze U.S. pension plans, stop matching company 401(k) contributions, halt most salary increases for 2009 and cut executive pay. And just recently, the company said it would cut another 4,000 jobs in 2009--3,000 of them from the mobile devices division.

Jha is under intense pressure to bring some stability to Motorola. Questions abound around Jha's actions. Will the job cuts lead to cost reductions and an improved financial position, or further weaken Motorola's brand? Will a loss of jobs lead to a decrease in the number of models Motorola develops? Will the decision to focus so much attention on Android prove fruitless, especially considering other handset makers in better shape, like Samsung, will beat Motorola to the punch?

Right now there are more questions than answers but Jha's every move is sure to be closely scrutinized in the months ahead.

Sanjay Jha, Co-CEO of Motorola - Execs to Watch 2009
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