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Motorola Taps Former AT&T CEO Dorman as Chairman

Former AT&T chief executive David Dorman will become Motorola's non-executive chairman next month as the struggling cell phone maker tries to fix its slumping fortunes and split itself into two companies.

Motorola's Razr V3 cell phone.
AP
Motorola's Razr V3 cell phone.

Wednesday's announcement comes two days after Motorola ended a proxy fight with activist investor Carl Icahn, agreeing to seat his slate of four nominees on its board of directors.

Dorman, 54, will assume the role on May 5, after chairman and former chief executive Ed Zander retires at the company's annual meeting.

"Dave is ideally suited to serve as Motorola's chairman and I am confident that our shareholders will continue to benefit from his industry knowledge and deep understanding of the company," CEO Greg Brown said in a statement.

Dorman has spent nearly three decades in telecommunications, working at Sprint, Pacific Bell, SBC and Concert, a global venture between AT&T and British Telecommunications. He became AT&T's president in December 2000 and served as the company's chairman and chief executive officer from 2002 until November 2005.

He joined the board of Schaumburg-based Motorola in 2006.

"Motorola has tremendous assets and talented people, and I am confident in the actions Greg Brown, our management team and Board are taking," Dorman said in a statement.

Dorman is currently a managing director and senior adviser at Warburg Pincus and serves on the boards of CVS, Yum Brands and the Georgia Tech Foundation.

Motorola has floundered since the second half of 2006 because of flawed pricing and marketing strategies, and the inability to follow up its blockbuster Razr phone with another hit. Brown, who succeeded Zander in January, announced two weeks ago that the company would split its core handset unit from its other operations to form two separate publicly traded companies in hopes of reviving its main business.

Motorola also agreed to get Icahn's input on the planned separation and search for a chief executive for that business.