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Jason Pontin

A View from Jason Pontin

ETC: Ed Zander Loves Devices

This morning I introduced Dr. Susan Hockfield, the President of MIT, who kindly said a few words to our audience, before introducing Ed Zander, this morning’s keynote speaker, and the CEO of Motorola. Zander loves devices, and he is keen…

  • September 29, 2005

This morning I introduced Dr. Susan Hockfield, the President of MIT, who kindly said a few words to our audience, before introducing Ed Zander, this morning’s keynote speaker, and the CEO of Motorola. Zander loves devices, and he is keen to show off Motorola’s new offerings as examples of important trends. At the moment, rather ludicrously, he is wearing a pair of dark glasses, one of whose lenses has a small screen and which also has a built-in cell phone. He looks like a Blues Brother. He has also shown us a phone that can receive music videos (although the demo was of Gloria Estefan, which left the audience a little cold). When he couldn’t end the Demo, Zander began making retching noises. He finally threw the phone to a minder, barking, “Where’s my guy? Where’s my guy? Turn this thing off! Get rid of it!”–which I, at least, found charming, in a Dr-Evil-sort-of-way. The speech itself was a fairly conventional, although entirely convincing defense, of the importance of the “mobility revolution.” Zander seems an old-world kind of technology CEO–intelligent, astute, informed, but probably very stern with his subordinates.

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