Robert Galvin - Former Motorola CEO

Longtime Motorola CEO and Chairman Robert Galvin Dead At 89

Robert Galvin spent 41 years turning Motorola into an international juggernaut and now we have learned that the company’s longtime CEO and Chairman has passed away at the age of 89.

Galvin took over the automotive radio manufacture in 1959 from his dad who founded the company, over the next 41 years he would turn the company from a $290 million business to a $10.8 billion enterprise when he left the company in 1990.

During his time at the organization Galvin watched as Motorola continued to oversee new product development, including the company’s first mobile phone the 16-ounce “DynaTAC” which was invented by Motorola researcher Martin Cooper and which went into commercial service in 1983

Since leaving the company Motorola has split into two factions with Motorola Mobility being purchased by Google.

Motorola released the following statement about their former leader and figurehead:

“We are greatly saddened by the loss of Bob Galvin. During his 29-year tenure at Motorola Inc., Bob oversaw remarkable growth and transformed Motorola into a global leader in technology, with $10.8 billion in sales in 1990, the year he stepped down as chairman. Bob was a visionary within the technology sector, leading the creation of the global cellular telephone industry from the introduction of the first portable cell phone prototype, the DynaTAC, to the first pocket-sized ‘flip phone’, the StarTAC, in 1996.

Bob’s commitment to innovation has remained a core value at Motorola Mobility and his contributions have left a lasting mark on both the Motorola Mobility portfolio and the entire cell phone industry. Today we honor Bob’s many accomplishments and celebrate the technology he was so instrumental in building.”

Comment from Sanjay Jha, chairman and CEO, Motorola Mobility, “Today, we lost a transformative leader and visionary. We will continue to honor Bob Galvin’s legacy here at Motorola Mobility. He was committed to innovation, and was responsible for guiding Motorola through the creation of the global cellular telephone industry. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”

Robert Galvin was a true leader and will be missed by everyone in the industry who understands the profound impact Motorola has had on the industries for which Galvin helped develop.