Jim Wicks – Motorola Design Leader Announces Departure

Just following the departure of Motorola’s former chief executive Rick Osterloh, longtime designer Jim Wicks recently announced his resignation from the company. He will be joining the faculty of Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Design in July of this year.

Jim Wicks - Motorola Design Leader Announces Departure

Jim Wicks Announces Resignation From Motorola

An executive of Motorola Mobility and Lenovo’s Mobile Business Group said the following in a statement pertaining to the departure of Jim Wicks: “We greatly appreciate Jim’s contributions in leading a consumer experience design team that delivered standout, iconic, and award-winning industrial design and user experiences for Moto’s mobile and wearable products. We wish Jim well as he enters this new phase in his career.”

Motorola designer Jim Wicks, who has worked as a designer for another tech firm, Sony, until 2001 prior to accepting his leadership in Motorola, has already been widely credited with regards to the creation of some of the company’s most celebrated mobile devices and wearable techs. One of the things that he did was he oversaw the design of the famous clamshell phone, the Motorola Razr, which is a handset that has been applauded for its striking appearance as well as its thin profile. He also assisted in the design creation for the Ming, which is a touchscreen device sold in China. One of his more recent efforts include the circular 2014 Moto 360 smartwatch, the 2013 Moto X, and the Verizon-exclusive Droid series of phones.

The lead designer retained his role in the company even when it went under drastic changes in structure and in ownership. Back in 2011, Motorola Mobility, which is the firm’s smartphone division, removed itself from the rest of the company in an attempt to cut losses that were incurred by a stagnating product portfolio, as well as with a sliding smartphone market.

Back in 2013, when the company was faced with mounting losses and under pressure by third-party Android phone manufacturers, Google, the search engine giant, sold Motorola to Lenovo for the sum of $2.9-billion. This move led to superficial changes but it also meant a decline in staff. In 2014, Motorola’s jobs had fallen from 3,000 to 2,000, and it didn’t stop there as it continued to fall.

Despite the company facing turmoil, Jim Wicks, along with longtime Motorola engineering lead Iqbal Arshad, and with Osterloh, remained. What put the final nail in the coffin, however, would be perhaps the decision made by Lenovo to take a more active role in shaping Motorola’s product and image lineup.


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