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Motorola recruits Apple evangelist

In a bid to revitalise its recently acquired handset business, Google has called on Apple’s former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki to act as an advisor at Motorola Mobility. Kawasaki’s role at the firm will be focused on product design, user interface, marketing and social media.

Kawasaki first joined Apple in 1983, where he held the role of chief evangelist for four years. He then became a venture capitalist and public speaker, before rejoining the firm in 1995 as an Apple Fellow. He said that he accepted the position at Motorola due to his love of mobile devices, Android and Google.

“Motorola reminds me of the Apple of 1998: a pioneer in its market segment, engineering-driven, and ripe for innovation,” said Kawasaki. “I believe that great products can change everything. For example, the creation of the iMac G3 – the Macs that came in colours such as Bondi, Strawberry, Blueberry, Lime, and Grape – was a pivotal event for Apple”

One of his first actions is to create a Google+ community about mobile devices, he explained. The community is for mobile devices from any manufacturer running any operating system on any carrier’s network.

“As part of Google, the sky is the limit for Motorola, and I’m excited to be advising this team,” Kawasaki added.

Motorola Mobility has not had an easy time of late. In August 2012, the firm announced it will axe around 4,000 staff, representing 20 per cent of the handset business’s total headcount. Two-thirds of the redundancies will take place outside of the US.

In addition, 94 facilities – which represent around a third of the handset firm’s worldwide offices – will be shut down as Google continues to overhaul its $12.5bn acquisition.

Then, in December 2012, Google offloaded the Motorola Home business, which primarily makes set top boxes (STBs), to US firm Arris, in which it will also take an ownership stake.

Apple, meanwhile, announced an executive reshuffle of its own in October 2012, which saw Scott Forstall, one of the original architects of the Mac OS X operating system and head of the team responsible for the software platform at the heart of the iconic iPhone device.

Famed designer, Jony Ive, who was responsible for everything from the iMac to the iPhone and iPad design is now providing “leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design.”


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