Moto CEO, Ed Zander on the defensive

Motorola CEO Ed Zander seemed to be playing defense during a webcast of the Goldman Sachs' 2007 Technology Investment Symposium in Las Vegas last week: "It's a hard business to stay on top of your game quarter after quarter," Zander said. "You have to have an almost maniacal focus." The comments come after a rough financial quarter for the handset maker, which is under pressure as their hit phone the RAZR has lost steam and next-generation versions have failed to keep up its record setting pace. And the constant Apple iPhone banter hasn't helped. Zander's mixed bag of comments about the iPhone included: "Let's see the product for goodness' sake... It's like waiting for a baby." Also: "You won't like what I'm about to say, but you spend too much time in the U.S. Touchscreens have been in use in Asia for years. [The iPhone] is the Apple UI, a Mac-patched phone in your pocket." Despite the criticism he added with a sigh: "I'm sure it's a great phone."

Other choice quotes from the webcast:

  • "I still think the RAZR as we know it today can make more money."
  • "When you talk Apple, don't think that Nokia, Samsung and Motorola won't have cool phones to respond."
  • "It's not about market share anymore, though that's fun... You can't win by selling more units."

Zander also made an interesting comment to Crain's Chicago Business last week: Due to "growing concerns about execution in the mobile devices business... Motorola did not make a counter-offer to retain [Ron] Garriques."

For more on the Ed Zander's comments:
- see this article from RCR (sub. req.)