CHICAGO (AP) — Christopher Galvin resigned Friday as chairman and chief executive of struggling Motorola Inc., ending an often-rocky six years at the helm of the telecommunications giant his grandfather founded 75 years ago.
Galvin, 53, cited differences with the board over the progress of the stalled turnaround at the world's No. 2 cell-phone manufacturer, which also is a top semiconductor maker. He has agreed to stay on until a successor is named, the company said.
The unexpected late-afternoon announcement sent Motorola's stock 5 percent higher in after-hours trading following a regular session in which it closed down 4 cents at $11.09 a share on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock reached a peak of more than $60 a share in 2000.
Motorola, which sold more than half the world's cell phones in the early '90s, has fallen far behind Finland's Nokia and has been struggling to regain its past dominance. A huge restructuring and cost-slashing effort returned it to profitability in 2002 after two years of losses. But a slowed economy and sluggish industrywide demand have stymied its recovery.
The company has eliminated nearly 60,000 jobs since August 2000 and is seeking to shrink costs further by year's end through attrition and outsourcing.
Although analysts and investors have called in the past for Galvin's resignation, the company characterized Galvin's departure as a retirement and said the decision was his alone and was not precipitated by any particular development. Spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch said Galvin informed directors in a 7:30 a.m. EDT conference call Friday, two days after a regular board meeting.
He has held the two top posts since 1997 and has been with Motorola for 36 years.