Mobile Industry on the Move April 12

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — April 12, 2014

Samsung
"As our U.S. business continues to diversify and expand, we will continue to build an industry-leading organization with people who will contribute to even greater success for Samsung," Samsung said in a statement according to CNET. "Some have left voluntarily to pursue other opportunities, and we thank them for their service." Those who left are reportedly, Seshu , the senior vice president of product and technology; Nanda Ramachandran, Samsung Telecommunications America VP of emerging business; Mike Pennington, vice president of sales operations and head of national sales; Ketrina Dunagan, the vice president of retail and channel marketing; and Donna Cerny, director of human resources.

MobileIron
MobileIron, Inc. has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. The number of shares to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.

Yankee Group Principal Analyst Chris Marsh commented, “There are essentially two reasons why a private company goes for an IPO: to expand (by raising cash, getting better rates on debt, making acquisitions easier), or as an exit strategy for the owners. For any pure-play EMM vendor—whether MobileIron or Good Technology (the two most prominent vendors pushing for an IPO) or any other—it’s difficult not to see the latter as the rationale. My reasoning for this is as follows—now, take a deep breath: Mobile devices are becoming core computing platforms, and the management of these devices, the apps, data and content on them will have to become a pure commodity capability. As such, EMM won’t sustain a competitive marketplace of independent vendors in the long term; it will instead lose its relative value and become broadly standardized—likely embedded as both a native device capability and at the data level, neither of which gives much room for a pure-play EMM vendor to create value for itself. Quite simply, EMM just will not be strategic and differentiated enough as a capability in the longer term for any pure-play vendor to be able to go it alone and continue to create value. Apple and Samsung have opened up some of their platform features to third-party vendors as a way to drive adoption of their devices in an altogether nascent market. In the longer run they are unlikely to want to create a series of ongoing dependencies on commodity vendors.”

DropBox
Founder Drew Houston, announced in his blog that DropBox is “growing our leadership team.” At least one of those additions, has caused controversy in the community.  “We’re proud to welcome Dr. Condoleezza Rice to our Board of Directors. When looking to grow our board, we sought out a leader who could help us expand our global footprint. Dr. Rice has had an illustrious career as Provost of Stanford University, board member of companies like Hewlett Packard and Charles Schwab, and former United States Secretary of State.” 

Can they see your content now? The uproar comes from Rice’s condoning the NSA’s  invasive practices during her tenure with the Bush Administration.

Considering the nature of DropBox’ business, protesters have made the leap that she will bring a similar perspective or practice to the company. A website has popped up called “drop-dropbox” and is calling for boycotts.

Houston responded in his April 11 blog post, writing, “There’s nothing more important to us than keeping your stuff safe and secure. It’s why we’ve been fighting for transparency and government surveillance reform, and why we’ve been vocal and public with our principles and values.
We should have been clearer that none of this is going to change with Dr. Rice’s appointment to our Board. Our commitment to your rights and your privacy is at the heart of every decision we make, and this will continue.
We’re honored to have Dr. Rice join our board — she brings an incredible amount of experience and insight into international markets and the dynamics that define them. As we continue to expand into new countries, we need that type of insight to help us reach new users and defend their rights. Dr. Rice understands our stance on these issues and fully supports our commitments to our users."

In less controversial appointments, Sujay Jaswa was named CFO. And, as previously reported, Dennis Woodside is the new COO. He is leading global business operations including sales, marketing, partnerships, user operations, and people operations. He was formerly the CEO of Motorola Mobility.

AT&T
AT&T has rethought its possibilities and created a new campaign that is more in line with the company’s strategy:  “Mobilizing the world.”

The New York Times  originally reported on the change and noted that, according to Kantar Media data, AT&T is the No. 3 largest advertiser in the U.S., so the tagline is likely to quickly resonate. Esther Lee, senior VP senior vice president for brand marketing, advertising and sponsorship at AT&T in Dallas told the Times, “While consumers knew and remembered ‘Rethink possible,’ research found that the phrase did not sufficiently convey the idea that AT&T is ‘driving the mobile revolution’ through innovation.”

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