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Case Title:

Motorola's Lost Opportunities

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: Nisha, T Phani Madhav

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics


Case Code: IPD0003

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Motorola that was once a dominant force in the communication equipment market seems more like a laggard than a leader. The company blew up some golden opportunities when it misread consumer tastes, alienated telecom companies and faltered in bringing new products to the market at the right time. Troubles escalated for the company in recent years and it lost its lead in the handset business to Finland-based Nokia. Christopher Galvin, the grandson of Motorola's founder Paul V. Galvin was criticised for his hands-off approach and not taking timely action to put the company back on track. The company's constant struggle led to the resignation of Chris Galvin in late 2003. Edward J. Zander, former president of Sun Microsystems replaced Chris Galvin amidst investors' expectation to regain the company's past glory.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss reasons for Motorola's slide from leadership position in the handset market and to understand how, in spite of pioneering technologies in the handset market, the company lost so many opportunities of growth
  • To discuss the need for companies to understand the fast paced changes in the market and change the course of action to suit the changing market dynamics.

Keywords : Motorola's lost opportunities; Competition in handset market; Chris Galvin's management style; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; Nokia; Spinoff of semiconductor product segment; Chris Galvin's resignation; Edward J. Zander


  • Motorola an overview
  • Lost opportunities
    • Missing the digitial bus
  • Galvin Steps In

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