Motorola’s Padmasree Warrior

The Economist profiles Motorola’s CTO and the company’s vision:

Just as mobile phones already let you talk anywhere, says Ms Warrior, seamless mobility will let you do everything everywhere. All the pieces we have fit into that architecture, she says. Although mobile phones account for 40% of the company’s revenues, Motorola also makes everything from automotive electronics and home-theatre equipment to emergency radios and mobile-phone base-stations. Seamless mobility provides a rationale for staying in all those markets, and turns the firm’s diversity from a liability into an asset. Motorola says it is uniquely positioned to smooth the transition between home, work, automotive and mobile environments, providing high-speed internet access on trains, for example, e-mail in cars, video on phones, or mobile-phone coverage on planes.

Ms Warrior is the ideal ambassador for this new vision, and not simply because she co-invented it. She leads Motorola’s army of 4,600 technologists and marshals a $3.7 billion research budget, but her fearsome-sounding surname is at odds with her grace and charm. As an engineering graduate with a 20-year history at Motorola, she embodies both the technology-driven heritage of the old Motorola and the company’s new, more friendly, user-driven approach. Seamless mobility is a very different approach to that being taken by Nokia, Ericsson or Samsung, she insists, since it is defined not by equipment or industrial structure, but by ease of use.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.