Profile: Andrew Morley, vice-president for marketing EMERA, Motorola Mobility

Motorola: Andrew Morley, vice-president for marketing EMERA
Motorola: Andrew Morley, vice-president for marketing EMERA

Motorola's halo effect: Andrew Morley is working to revive Motorola's reputation

Breakfast with Eva Longoria, lunch with Elizabeth Hurley and dinner with Father Christmas, all in one day at the Paris Ritz; sitting in an office block in London's Victoria, Motorola marketer Andrew Morley is reminiscing about a former life.

From 2006 to 2007, Morley ran the marketing for Mohamed Al Fayed's Harrods and Ritz brands, where allure and attraction were part of the job.

Four years on, the glamour has gone: Morley is rolling up his sleeves as Motorola's vice-president for marketing EMERA (Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia and Asia). Over the past five years, the brand's fortunes in the handset market have undoubtedly suffered a drastic decline, and Morley is setting out to return it to a top-two market position.

In 2004 Motorola launched the Razr, which became the biggest-selling handset in history, shifting 110m units and positioning the brand as Nokia's biggest competitor.

This success felt natural for a brand that had pioneered the use of technology in everyday life for decades. Motorola created one of the first commercially successful car radios, in 1930, and 30 years later developed the first truly rectangular colour TV tube, which became the industry standard. In 1969, Neil Armstrong's 'one small step' speech was transmitted from the moon via Motorola technology. It pioneered mobile telephony, and in 1983 released the Dynatec mobile phone, often referred to as 'the brick'. The Razr tapped into a similar demographic, satisfying those who demanded more from their handset.

However, Apple's introduction of the iPhone in 2007 turned Motorola's fortunes upside-down. While Nokia held onto its market lead, the Razr was outsold by the iPhone - a better-looking, better-functioning device that rendered the Razr almost obsolete. In 2009, Motorola had a 4.8% market share and was in fourth place; in 2010, it fell to a 2.4% share and 7th place.

Now, Motorola has decided to try something radical - always a good, if risky, idea when trailing market leaders.

'When Sanjay (Jha - Motorola Mobility's chairman and chief executive) joined in 2008, he redefined the business to focus on (Google operating system) Android and to be more about smartphones,' says Morley.

In January, Morley went one step further by setting up Motorola Mobility, a division focusing exclusively on mobile devices. The launch of three products, key to its success, is an attempt to recapture the brand's former glories and create a halo effect.

The first is the Defy - a robust smartphone designed to be 'life-proof', including resistance to water and dust, which launched in time for Christmas.

More important will be the Xoom tablet computer and Atrix smartphone. These caused a sensation at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Atrix winning the best smartphone award and Xoom the best product prize.

'If you had said (beforehand that) we would have had the two best devices at CES, it would have been a pretty big claim - but we did it,' says Morley. 'When we won at CES, we were three days old (as a division). We are trying to redefine the industry we invented, which is why when we did a tablet, we didn't do just another tablet,' he says, keen to demonstrate the Xoom, which appears to be quick, versatile and robust.

On the face of it, both products are playing catch-up to Apple's iPhone and iPad. Nonetheless, Morley is determined that both will change the sector, and partnering Google is a good place to start.

The Xoom will be the first tablet to use Android 3.0, codenamed 'Honeycomb' and designed for the platform. The device has technophiles drooling, with its pumped-up processors, a 10.1in widescreen display, accelerometers, cameras, gyroscopes and other gizmos that could host new kinds of interactive and immersive game designs, as well as being useful for conferencing.

Internet rumours suggest the Xoom will cost more than an iPad at $800 (£500), but Morley refuses to be drawn on this.

The Atrix smartphone, meanwhile, 'will be as powerful as a desktop computer', he boasts. It is designed to be plugged into a special mobile dock with full-sized keyboard to turn it instantly into a fully functional laptop.

'This is based on the insight that you do not want to take a laptop and 16 other devices through an airport. It is more than a competitor to BlackBerry, and it has Flash,' he says, in a dig at Apple, which has banned the Adobe software from iPhone.

From an early age, Morley's business nous was evident: aged 11, he started selling sweets from his school bag. Now in his early 40s and a committed cyclist - he has participated in Tour de France stages - the Northerner also regularly works at a Kenyan orphanage he helped build, and describes his involvement in the church project as 'a passion'.

Clearly, then, he is up for a challenge: at work, the next one is to bring his new products to market. These will be accompanied by the strapline 'Life Mpowered', which Morley says carries the message that the products will make your life better. The roll-out is expected soon, with Orange the first network to sell the Atrix in the UK.

For specific campaigns, Morley claims that it is too early to give details, but the Defy launch, which he oversaw using Ogilvy & Mather to produce the TV ad in Europe, marks the start of a swathe of activity this year. Morley promises that all three devices will be accompanied by 'heavyweight' campaigns.

Some teaser ads have run in the US, including one during this year's Super Bowl that poked fun at Apple - a theme expected to continue in the UK.

Morley seems unconcerned that Motorola products have been very much under the radar since the Razr. 'Brand awareness is still quite high,' he insists. While that may remain the case in regions where Motorola is in a more dominant position, his challenge is to regain a similar status in the UK and Europe.

The brand clearly has a game-plan and is closely tracking developments in mobile technology - just like the old days.

'Two things are going to happen. The first is convergence, and we are starting to see that - mobile (computing) and phone convergence with the Atrix and laptop and tablet convergence with Xoom,' he says. 'Being relevant is very important.'

Morley says the past four years have been leading up to the launches and bringing these products to market. After that, will he look for new challenges? Back to dinner at the Ritz with Liz Hurley, perhaps?

He laughs, but doesn't deny it, saying: 'We are only just starting. Everything has been building to now.'

Inside work

1992-2000: District marketing manager, rising to European marketing director, Ford Motor Company

2000-2005: Director of sales and marketing UK and Ireland, and Ireland country manager, BSkyB

2005-2006: Chief commercial officer and deputy chief executive, Cable & Wireless Group Internet Division

2006-2007: Group marketing director (board-level), Harrods and associated companies

2007-2011: Vice-president of marketing Europe, Middle East, Russia, Africa, India and Asia, Motorola (Mobile Devices)

2011-present: Vice-president of marketing Europe, Middle East, Russia, Africa, India and Asia, Motorola Mobility

Outside work

Lives: Chorleywood, with wife and two children

Drives: Audi Q7

Favourite apps: Foursquare and Motoblur

Listens to: Christian radio station UCB and Lenny Kravitz - 'I have a retro thing going on'.

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