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10 Things You Didn't Know about Motorola CEO Gregory Q. Brown

Gregory Brown

Gregory Q. Brown is the current CEO and Chairman of the Board for Motorola Solutions. He has led the corporation for more than a decade's time, thus making him one of its longest-serving and thus one of its most influential heads. What Are 10 Things You Didn't Know About Gregory Q. Brown? Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Gregory Q. Brown:

1. Went to Rutgers University

Brown went to Rutgers University, which is a much more convenient shortening of the school's full name - Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. On the whole, Rutgers University can be considered one of the most prestigious schools in not just New Jersey but also the rest of the United States. In part, this is because it is one of the oldest such institutions in the country, seeing as how it was founded before the American Revolution. However, it should also be noted that its history means that there have been some very well-known people associated with it.

2. Studied Economics

In school, Brown studied the subject of economics, which tends to be very useful for people who head into business. One, microeconomics covers the economic choices of businesses and other individual economic entities, meaning that it can provide them with a structured way to think about business matters. Two, macroeconomics covers national economies, which is something that businesses can't ignore because they operate in economic environments that are influenced to a incredible extent by said national economies.

3. Has Worked For Other Companies In the Past

Brown hasn't spent his entire career at Motorola Solutions, not least because that would be impossible. Some examples of the other companies that he has worked for in the past range from AT&T, which started out as one of the Baby Bells but has since reconstituted a huge portion of the Bell System that was broken up, to Ameritech, which was another one of the Baby Bells but has since been bought out by the Baby Bell that is now AT&T.

4. Current Head of Motorola Solutions

As stated earlier, Brown is the current head of Motorola Solutions. It is important to note that Motorola Solutions is one of the two companies bearing the Motorola name with the other being Motorola Mobility. However, Motorola Solutions has a better claim to being the "true" Motorola than Motorola Mobility, seeing as how it is recognized as the legal successor to its predecessor while its counterpart is considered to be a spin-off.

5. Was Head of Motorola

With that said, Brown was the head of Motorola when it was still Motorola rather than Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility. He was a longstanding member of Motorola's management, as shown by the fact that he held various positions such as Vice President, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer before rising to the position of CEO. As for how Brown winded up becoming the CEO of Motorola, that can be blamed on the corporation's failure to follow up on the success of its Razr phones, which also explains why Motorola was eventually split into Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility.

6. Had a Number of Successes Before Being Named CEO of Motorola

Naturally, Brown had a number of successes before he was named the CEO of Motorola. For example, he was the one who oversaw a multi-billion buy-out of Symbol Technologies, which had the distinction of being the second biggest transaction in the whole of Motorola's history. Likewise, he was the one who restored Motorola's automotive segment to profitability. With that said, it is interesting to note that some investors weren't particularly enthused about Brown's rise to the position of CEO because they wanted a more dramatic change of direction coming from an outsider CEO rather than someone promoted from within.

7. Total Shareholder Return Is More than 450 Percent

On the whole, Brown has done an impressive job for Motorola shareholders, as shown by how his profile boasts about how the corporation has under his leadership provided its shareholders with a total shareholder return of more than 450 percent. In short, total shareholder return is calculated by subtracting the share price at the start of the relevant period from the share price at the end of the relevant period. After which, this appreciation in the share price is then added to the dividends that have been paid out so that the sum can be divided by the share price at the start of the relevant period.

8. Heads Up His Preferred Parts of the Corporation

It is interesting to note that Brown heads up his preferred parts of Motorola in the present time. In short, Motorola Solutions includes Motorola's communications software and communication equipment meant for governmental agencies as well as industrial entities, which are very much in-line with Brown's preference for B2B rather than B2C operations. Having said that, it should also be noted that these segments were also quite profitable if perhaps not particularly glamorous at a time when Motorola's mobile devices were struggling.

9. Managed to Get an IBM Internship By Painting Curbs

When he was still a student, Brown managed to get an internship with IBM by impressing the recruiter. He didn't do so by pointing to his expertise and experience but rather his entrepreneurial spirit. In short, what happened is that Brown told the story of how he managed to get a license to solicit door to door from the local police chief by pointing out that emergency services would have an easier time finding locations if their numbers were painted on the curb. After which, Brown started painting curbs in exchange for voluntary donations from the people who lived at said locations. It turned out that the average location would give him a donation of $1, which was pretty good considering that the minimum wage at the time was $3.25 per hour.

10. Has Salvaged Motorola's Business Culture

Brown's financial success is clear. However, it should be mentioned that he has done much to salvage Motorola Solutions's business culture as well. Apparently, Motorola employees used to engage in ferocious competition for attention, for capital, and for other scarce resources, which didn't do wonders for the corporation's internal unity. Even worse, these tensions were heightened by Motorola's bonus plan, which was based on numbers averaged across divisions. Unsurprisingly, this meant that the employees of profitable segments were more than a bit dissatisfied with their counterparts working with mobile devices.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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