Google just took to the wires and announced the sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. TechCrunch obtained the following internal Google memo that outlines the reason for the sale and plan going forward.
Towards the end of the memo, Larry Page thanks the Motorola team and states the obvious that he is confident that Lenovo can drive the Motorola brand forward.
More as we get it.
CONFIDENTIAL – DO NOT FORWARD
We are just in the process of announcing the sale of Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. This is important news so I wanted to communicate directly with you.
We acquired Motorola in 2012 to help supercharge the Android ecosystem by creating a stronger patent portfolio for Google and great smartphones for users. Over the past nineteen months, Dennis Woodside and the Motorola team have done a tremendous job reinventing the company. They’ve focused on building a smaller number of great (and great value) smartphones that consumers love. Both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well and I’m very excited about the smartphone line-up for 2014. And on the intellectual property side, Motorola’s patents have helped create a level playing field, which is good news for all Android’s users and partners.
But the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo–which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere. As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts. The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems.
Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem: they have a lot of experience in hardware and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity–just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005. Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem.
The deal has yet to be approved in the US or China and this usually takes time. So please don’t speculate about the impact of the deal either outside or inside Google, and direct any press inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Until it closes it’s business as usual. But if you have any questions, please come to TGIF tomorrow (or add them to the dory).
Finally, a big thank you to the entire hard working Motorola team. I’d also like to thank Dennis for taking this on and also working really hard to make great products. I’m proud of everything the team at Motorola has achieved and confident that with Lenovo as a partner, Motorola will build more and more great products for people everywhere.