Danny Adamopoulos, GM sales APAC Mature Markets, dropped into GadgetGuy for a chat.

I feel very comfortable chatting with Danny. He is a straight shooter, not afraid to call a spade a bloody shovel. If we need to discuss anything off the record its ‘pen down’ and he will educate me.

None of this “No comment” BS we journalists often receive.

I have been following Motorola (Moto) as a company since before Google acquired it in 2011 for US$12.5 billion. It was then resold for $2.91 billion to Lenovo in 2014. You can catch up on its history here.

Motorola is far from a spent force. But it has rightly been called a broken brand, in need of a revival.

GG: Danny Adamopoulos, you have been with Motorola for 18 years. Why?

Danny AdamopoulosMate, it is not because I have not received other offers over the years. It’s flattering that others recognise my expertise. I don’t see myself moving to another type of industry

I choose to stay with Motorola because it is an iconic brand with a great heritage. In fact, Motorola was the first phone I owned. It’s a great place to work. It’s given me so many opportunities to expand my knowledge, travel the world, experience cultural diversity, make many friends around the world while having an extreme amount of fun. I even met my wife because of Motorola while on an overseas assignment.

I started at a junior level and worked my way up through the ranks. Throughout this time, I have seen the growth and evolution of the global mobile market, as well as Motorola’s ups and downs over the years from Analogue to now 5G. Like in one of our shining moments when we sold 130 million RAZR flip phones. Now emulating that success with the Motorola G series.

GG: What is it like to be acquired by Google and subsequently, spurned and on-sold at a bargain to Lenovo?

It has had its challenges. If I had said otherwise I would be lying. There was a disruption to the business. This is always a by-product of acquisitions, but we eventually got our stride and rhythm back.  We gained a lot from the Google acquisition, including the move to pure Android, and putting the customer at the centre of every decision which is something we still do today!

Google did not sell the same company to Lenovo it acquired. There was a lot of change made along the way.

While the dream of a ‘Made by Google’ smartphone didn’t materialise as planned, somehow it spawned a franchise of products now known as the Moto G-series. That’s a win for Lenovo.

GG: At that time Lenovo needed a prestige American brand to gain a slice of that market. I quote

Yang Yuanqing, Chairman and CEO of Lenovo said, “The acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a strong global competitor in smartphones. We will immediately have the opportunity to become a strong global player in the fast-growing mobile space.”

“We are confident that we can bring together the best of both companies to deliver products customers will love and a strong, growing business. Lenovo has a proven track record of successfully embracing and strengthening great brands – as we did with IBM’s Think brand – and smoothly and efficiently integrating companies around-the-world.  I am confident we will be successful with this process, and that our companies will not only maintain our current momentum in the market but also build a strong foundation for the future.”

You can read Ray Shaw’s take at that time here.

Well, that is still largely true. But it took time to integrate the companies. Lenovo wanted to set a clear strategic direction. Would Lenovo continue to make its branded phones? Was Motorola still going to be called Motorola?