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Agenda Setters: Where are they now... Ed Zander

A little too much eating your own dog food?
Written by silicon.com staff, Contributor

A little too much eating your own dog food?

As the countdown begins to silicon.com's seventh annual Agenda Setters poll of tech's 50 most influential individuals, it is time to look back at those who held top 10 positions in 2005. Today we catch up with last year's number 10, Ed Zander.

Motorola CEO Ed Zander stormed into the Agenda Setters top 10 last year after a relatively low key history in the list of the 50 most influential people in tech.

So why the sudden appearance? Zander presided over the resurgence of the company with the iconic Razr, often copied, never outsold.

This year, however, Motorola has been focusing its efforts in other quarters. Along with sealing an outsourcing venture with Wipro, Zander has made an interesting move and thrown in his lot with Intel and the WiMax movement - a move predicted by some more effusive pundits to be the death of cellular altogether.

Zander has also turned his attention to picking a smart phone operating system for the company, presiding over the death of Motorola's own OS and championing Linux as the future for its mainstream phones - a necessary but not exactly trailblazing move.

And if the super slim phone is what Zander is best known for, in the last year he hasn't been slow to capitalise on the heritage, launching the next generation of Razr-inspired handsets including the Krzr and Rizr.

But while the Motorola CEO might be smart to wring the utmost from the franchise, it seems Zander and team have been chasing the wafer-thin trend rather than setting new ones, much as his tier-two competitors have. Aside from the is-it-or-isn't-it business device, the Q, very little coming out of Moto-land has industry watchers as excited as the Razr once did.

Still, Zander is sitting pretty at the head of a mobile phone company reporting solid growth and believed in some quarters to be almost poised to take over from Nokia as the world's number one seller of mobile phones.

But a standout year for Motorola's CEO? Not exactly. The last 12 months has been about tidying up loose ends and doing the necessary - and that means we wouldn't bet Zander will be making a reappearance in the top 10 of this year's Agenda Setters list.

silicon.com's Agenda Setters panel, made up again of CIOs, analysts, VCs, consultants, lawyers, academics and other experts, convenes in September with the results revealed at the end of the month. If you want to pass on your comments for our experts - about Ed Zander or any other contender - drop us an email at editorial@silicon.com.

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