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Motorola started as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1928. The name of the company was changed to Motorola in 1947, but the word had been used as a trademark since the 1930s. The company is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.

Founder Paul Galvin came up with the name Motorola when his company started manufacturing car radios (a number of early companies making phonographs, radios, and other audio equipment in the early 20th century used the suffix "-ola", the most famous being Victrola; there was also the film editing device called a Moviola).

Many of Motorola's products have been radio-related, starting with a battery eliminator for radios, through the first walkie-talkie in the world, defense electronics and mobile phone manufacturing. The company is also strong in semiconductor technology (but see the next paragraph), including chips used in computers. Motorola has been the main supplier for the microprocessors used in Commodore Amiga, Apple Macintosh and Power Macintosh personal computers. The chip used in the latter computers, the PowerPC family, was developed with IBM, and in a partnership with Apple (known as the AIM alliance). Motorola also has a diverse line of communication products, including satellite systems, digital cable boxes and modems.

On October 6, 2003, Motorola announced that it would spin off its semiconductor product sector into a separate company called Freescale. The new company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on July 16th the following year.

See also: List of Motorola products (including Freescale's semiconductors)


  • Chairman & CEO: Ed Zander (formerly of Sun Microsystems)
  • CFO: David Devonshire (formerly of Ingersoll-Rand )
  • CMO: Geoffrey Frost (formerly of Nike)
  • General Counsel : Peter Lawson (formerly of Baxter International )
  • CSO: Richard N. Nottenburg (formerly of Vitesse Semiconductor )
  • CTO: Padmasree Warrior


Motorola received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign starting in 2004, the third year of the report.

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