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Motorola names new COO as it prepares to move from Google to Lenovo

Rick Osterloh becomes new chief operating officer, as Motorola readies its shift to Lenovo, which is fast bulking up as a supplier of everything from smartphones to servers.

New Motorola COO Rick Osterloh Weinberg-Clark Photography

Rick Osterloh will take over as president and chief operating officer of Motorola, now part of Google but soon to become part of Lenovo.

Osterloh, who previously ran Motorola's product management group, replaces Dennis Woodside, who departed the company earlier this year to join Dropbox as COO.

"We are pleased to learn that Motorola has named Rick Osterloh to lead Motorola Mobility, effective today," Liu Jun, executive vice president of Lenovo's Mobile Business Group, said in a statement.

In the announcement of Osterloh's appointment, Google's outgoing senior vice president of product management, Jonathan Rosenberg, said the move "provides the focused leadership and business continuity needed to steer the organization into the future." Rosenberg had been serving as Motorola COO since Woodside's departure.

In January, Lenovo announced a $2.9 billion deal to buy Motorola from Google. Only a couple of years earlier, Google paid $12.5 billion to acquire what was then known as Motorola Mobility.

For Google, the pending deal to sell Motorola relieves it of an ongoing source of friction with partners that manufacture Android-based smartphones. Though the company said the Motorola unit was separate from the Android group, Google's partners were uneasy about the relationship from the get-go.

Lenovo wants to transform itself from being known primarily as a PC maker into a company with extensive technologies, ranging from mobile devices to the enterprise servers. In January, it paid $2.3 billion to acquire IBM's server business. It's also expanding its smartphone business rapidly and now ranks as the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the world.