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Motorola's big hope

Motorola's finally got a new leader helping out at the helm of its company and to drive its handset division forward and I have to admit I was a bit surprised Moto lured in such an experienced and successful executive.

During the past six months I've been checking in with industry pundits, asking them what they've been hearing through the grapevine, tracking the blind items about who Moto was courting to come into the fold.

I kept badgering Motorola's communication and pr team for feedback, comment, a status report.

But things were eerily quiet except for some rumour of a HP executive potentially coming into the ranks.

So naturally I expected it was going to be someone from left field, or someone climbing the corporate ranks and looking to cut their CEO teeth on what is definitely one of the biggest career challenges in the mobile device industry.

In reporting the story of Sanjay Jha's appointment yesterday I spent a good portion of the day dialing up experts and analysts and asking them to give me a one-word descriptor of the news.

Somewhere I expected to hear something negative.

But nada. No one had a bad word to say about Jha, his experience, or his ability to make change.

Even on the quick impromptu conference call with investor analysts there was not one bad word. Every investor congratulated Jha, and several even congratulated CEO Greg Brown on his choice.

Yes they asked the usual hardball questions -- how is Motorola going to turn around its mobile device business, where is Jha going to start first, what is it going to take to make change?

And Jha answered each question with ease, but more importantly, he answered with directness.

As he told analysts, he's no stranger to Motorola or its history.

While others may see a dismal future, he sees Motorola's steadfastness, its talent, its unwavering determination to not only stay in the mobile device market but to fight for what it once had.

While one analyst jokingly commended Jha on his courage in taking the job, the truth is that Jha is courageous.

But then again so is Motorola these days.

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