Edward J. Zander (1947/1948?-) is an American business executive. In January 2004, he joined Motorola as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that he was a managing director at Silver Lake Partners, a technology investment fund. Before that, (1987 - June 2002) he was the Chief Operating Officer and then (January 1998- June 2002) was also awarded the title of President of Sun Microsystems. He is a director at Seagate Technologies. Also serves on the board of directors for Jason Foundation for Education. Serves on the science advisory board of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, and the advisory board of the School of Management of Boston University, where he received a Master of Business Administration degree.
Career at Motorola
On January 5th, 2004, Edward Zander was selected by the Motorola board of directors to succeed Chris Galvin. Galvin's retirement was announced in September of 2003 and ended a three generation reign of his family at the head of the electronics giant.
The primary candidates considered to replace him were Edward Zander and Mike Zafirovski (but also famous executives like AT&T's President Betsy Bernard, Qwest Communications International's Richard Notebaert and Verizon Communications' Lawrence Babbio). Earlier, Zafirovski, proved himself an excellent executive at Motorola. He had arrived from General Electric and led the cell phone business to profitability. Unfortunately for him, the board wanted a more radical change in leadership, someone who was an outsider. And, even though Zafirovski was virtually an outsider, having served at the corporation for only three years, the board of directors went with someone who had a more solid experience working in a complex organization like Motorola. Zander’s impressive career at Sun and his radical "mover and shaker" attitude won the board over and he was given the position. Zafirovski was disappointed and was expected to leave the company, especially with his history of reported run-ins with the board of directors, but unexpectedly stayed.
Edward Zander had a lot to prove and he quickly went to work. His first task was to oversee the new semiconductor’s spin-off that Motorola had begun just shortly before he joined, Freescale Semiconductor. He announced that he would focus the company on its consumer electronics business and start taking better care of its customers (and even assigned the Chief Information Officer, Samir Desai, to one of their largest and angriest customers, Nextel).
Zander came into a tough corporate culture. Motorola's departments have been referred to as "warring tribes". Zander created a bonus structure that based 25% of all bonuses on customer satisfaction, meeting product deadlines, cooperation between departments, etc. He started looking to target major corporations for communications gear and services, instead of just targeting consumers with the phones and telecom companies with wireless gear. A reorganization of Motorola's business divisions also became likely. Zander also wanted to see new types of products that focused on melding Internet technologies with wireless phone technologies.
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Career at Sun Microsystems
Edward Zander started his career at Sun Microsystems in 1987. Throughout the 90s he moved up through the ranks, taking the role of vice president of corporate marketing, and then president of Sun's software division until he was promoted to COO in January, 1998 (meanwhile Masood Jabbar took the role of President) and then to COO and President of Sun in April of 1999. Zander was responsible for Sun's seven product divisions which included engineering, product development, sales, service and marketing. Also the CTO and corporate brand marketing reported to him.
After he left the company, CEO Scott McNealy regained the title of President of Sun Microsystems for a bit and then position of COO and President was filled by Jonathan Schwartz on April 2, 2004.
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