Here's a follow-up to Numair Faraz's "Damn You All" letter to Meteorola's Greg Brown, with the perspective of one of Moto's ex-European Product Line Managers. Reading the alleged account of the whole Dilbertian mess is quite dramatic and sad:
I too used to work at Motorola and the incompetence of the execs was unbelievable.
Ron Garriques had a "number 1 in 1000 days" strategy which resulted in selling volume at all costs. Employees knew over a 18 months ago that Moto was heading for a train crash.
Several European middle managers submitted plans to make profit rather than sell volume and all were dismissed by the US VPs including Ray Roman (since gone) who declared that there was still significant demand for the original RAZR and anyone who wanted to stop selling it (in favour of more profitable phones) didn't know what they were talking about.
Amer Hussaini (also gone) head of portfolio, declared that no one needed anything greater than 2MP cameraphones and that there was no future in sliders.
Ed Zander sold off Freescale despite there being a solus 3G chipset contract still being in place. Result, Moto couldn't buy cheaper Qualcomm chipsets, Freescale kept the price high and all of the Moto 3G devices were uncompetitively priced.
Shareholders rewarded these incompetents with golden parachutes whilst the hardworking employees who were passionate about Moto were made redundant (not me I hasten to add. I saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship.)
Moto execs are very short-termist and only look to the next product launch and have no strategic vision. Products are launched (late) without any succession planning. Staff are completely demoralised and all the good engineers are now gone.
Software strategy? Forget it. How many platforms are they still trying to support? MotoAjar, P2K, LinuxJava, Symbian/UIQ, Windows Mobile, plus ODM devices.
His description paints a rather pathetic picture of their top executives which, following Faraz's mail, seems like the real thing. As he told us in a follow-up mail:
Personally I don't know him (Faraz's), however, his opinion is very valid. Previous execs were more interested in building their own little power bases and lining their pockets rather than the future of Motorola. Moto is full of warring tribes and it is now more vicious than ever as they try to ringfence their little empires from the swinging cuts that are coming.
e.g. Linux Java used to have ~8000 engineers. Now it is down to ~4000 and they still haven't delivered an operator-compliant device. Yet the VP is still there, still earning mega-bucks, and it's the engineers that get made redundant, not the senior leader. No accountability at a senior level for failure.