Former Motorola CEO Robert W. Galvin passes away

Motorola's former CEO Robert William Galvin passed away peacefully in his sleep on the night of October 11th, aged 89. The long-time chief executive officer of the company followed in his father's footsteps, taking leadership of the company in 1959. Galvin continued to operate as the company's CEO for a remarkable twenty-nine years, and remained a chairman of the board for an additional four years.

Galvin stepped down as the company's CEO back in 1990, but took it from its foundations as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation to its present, as a giant in the technology sector. In his final year as CEO the company posted profits of nearly eleven billion US dollars. Under Galvin's guidance, the company became a leader in its original fields: two-way radio, space and military communication, and automotive embedded control technologies. The company also pioneered mobile cellular phones under his leadership.

The family issued an official statement shortly after his passing in Chicago, which was posted on PR Press Wire:

Under Galvin, Motorola led the creation of the global cellular telephone industry. It installed the first prototype cell phone demonstration system in Washington DC in 1971; unveiled the first portable cell phone prototype, the DynaTAC, in 1973; enabled the first commercial cell phone call, which was made on the DynaTAC by Ameritech, in Chicago in 1983; and introduced MicroTAC, the industry’s first compact cell phone, in 1989.

Finally, in 1996, with Galvin serving on Motorola’s board, the company manufactured the first pocket-sized ‘flip phone’, the StarTAC. These innovations paved the way to a cell phone market that now includes some 3.8 billion subscribers worldwide.

Throughout his career, Galvin made crucial investments in cellular R&D and advocated tirelessly for competitive telecom regulation across the globe, never wavering in his belief that cellular technology would revolutionize the way people communicated.

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24 Comments

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Sad news. Everyone knows Bill Smith as the "father of Six Sigma" without appreciating the role Bob Galvin played in its development. And of course, he's far less well-known than Jack Welch even though Motorola developed Six Sigma and not GE.

Siddharth Prabhu said,
Sad news. Everyone knows Bill Smith as the "father of Six Sigma" without appreciating the role Bob Galvin played in its development. And of course, he's far less well-known than Jack Welch even though Motorola developed Six Sigma and not GE.

May he truly "Rest in Peace".

littleneutrino said,
the technology world is falling apart

Um, not really. The real people who make breakthroughs in technology are arbitrarily called "engineers" in most news articles and you never really know who they are. These people are just the face.

AdverseDeviant said,

Um, not really. The real people who make breakthroughs in technology are arbitrarily called "engineers" in most news articles and you never really know who they are. These people are just the face.

That might be true but without the face, there wouldn't be a company.