Short Honk: Google Has a New Management Expert: Its CFO

March 1, 2013

Navigate to “Google’s CFO Says Motorola’s Upcoming Products Aren’t ‘Wow’ by Google Standards.” I am okay with poobahs, failed webmasters, hot air entrepreneurs, and wizards pontificating about search and information retrieval. After all, as I have said numerous times, “Everyone perceives himself / herself as an expert in search.”

Here’s the statement, if true, I find reasonably useful in evaluating the management approach of today’s Google:

If you were hoping to see a revelatory smartphone from Motorola in the near future, you might want to tone down those expectations. Google’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President Patrick Pichette today said that products in Motorola’s pipeline are “not really to the standards that what Google would say is wow — innovative, transformative.” The surprisingly honest admission came during Pichette’s session at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference. When questioned on where things stand with Motorola at the moment, Pichette didn’t mince words. “We’ve inherited 18 months of pipeline that we actually have to drain right now, while we’re actually building the next wave of innovation and product lines,” he said.

I know I would be motivated if I were working at Motorola, a former client from my ABI/INFORM. Motorola was an expensive item. Is it like the HP Autonomy deal? I don’t know from nothing. But I do know that managing does not pivot on public criticism. Samsung probably finds the method quite reassuring. Is anyone in South Korea considering this question, “Why don’t we just scroogle the Google?” Amusing to ponder how making hardware can create Barnes & Noble-type excitement.

Stephen E Arnold, March 1, 2013


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