US vendor Motorola’s chief executive officer Ed Zander has announced that he is to step down from the role, effective January 1st 2008.

Zander will be replaced by the firm’s COO, Greg Brown, and will retain the position of chairman of the board until the annual stockholders meeting in May.

On behalf of Motorola’s Board of Directors, Samuel C. Scott III, lead director, said, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Ed for his vision, expertise and tireless commitment to Motorola. We greatly appreciate his many contributions and wish him all the best in the years ahead. Today’s decision is the culmination of a thoughtful and disciplined process of succession planning.”

In recent months, Zander has been preoccupied with cost cutting measures as Motorola has weathered rough seas, particularly in its handset division, which has been losing market share quarter by quarter.

It is understood that Zander will take the opportunity to enjoy more time with his family.