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Christopher Galvin
msnbc.com news services

Christopher Galvin, the chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola, is retiring. The company announced Friday that Galvin, who has run the world’s second largest cell phone manufacturer for the past 6 1/2 years, had agreed to remain in his position until a successor is named.

“While I have achieved substantial results, the Board and I do not share the same view of the company’s pace, strategy and progress at this stage of the turnaround,” Galvin said in a statement issued by the company. “Accordingly, it is time for me to pass the baton to new leadership.”

Galvin is grandson of the company’s founder. He has held the two top posts at Motorola since 1997 and has been with the company for 36 years.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company, which is also a top semiconductor maker, has been struggling to regain its past dominance, with a fledgling recovery stalled by sluggish industry-wide demand.

The board’s presiding director, John Pepper Jr., did not address any strategic differences in a statement distributed by the company. Pepper said Motorola has significantly strengthened its balance sheet and returned to profitability recently under

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Galvin, whom he said also has put a strong new management team in place.

“The board supports Chris Galvin’s decision to retire and appreciates his commitment to a successful transition while the board begins its internal and external search for a new chairman and CEO,” he said.

The leading candidate could be Mike Zafirovski, whose performance as president and chief operating officer has been praised. He took over last year when Edward Breen left to take the helm at Tyco International Ltd.

Motorola’s stock surged nearly 6 percent in after-hours trading after closing the regular trading session down 4 cents to $11.09 a share on the New York Stock Exchange. It is down from a peak of more than $60 a share in 2000.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

© 2013 msnbc.com

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