Motorola logo is seen on the company's corporate headquarters in Schaumberg, Illinois

Motorola CEO Robert Galvin mourned

Tributes have been paid to long-time Motorola chief executive Robert Galvin, who died this week at the age of 89.

Galvin, who was Motorola CEO for almost three decades, passed away during the night of Oct 11, according to a statement from his family.

Robert Galvin took the reins of the company in 1959 after the death of his father, Motorola founder Paul Galvin.

He transformed the fortunes of telecommunications company Motorola, which created the first ever cellphone.

Under his leadership its annual revenue increased from $290m in 1959 to $10.8bn in 1990, when he stepped down as Motorola's chairman.

"We lost a transformative leader and visionary," said current Motorola Mobility chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha.

"He was committed to innovation, and was responsible for guiding Motorola through the creation of the global cellular telephone industry.

"We will continue to honor Bob Galvin's legacy here at Motorola Mobility."

Galvin, who stepped down from the CEO post in 1986, led the expansion of Motorola in overseas markets, with the first prototype cellphone unveiled in 1973.

Robert's son Chris Galvin became Motorola CEO in 1997, but Robert stayed on the Motorola board until 2001.

Motorola was split in two in January this year under pressure from investors including Carl Icahn as the company's storied cellphone division had been losing ground to rivals for years. The split formed Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility, which is being sold to Google Inc.

Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown said Robert Galvin was the CEO that made the biggest impact on Motorola's history.

"He was a global thinker. He saw around corners. He put an extraordinary emphasis on innovation," Brown told Reuters.

Galvin was also a very personable leader and "remembered people's names." "He knew about their families. He knew what they did," Brown said.

Further information:

See the E&T obituary for former Motorola CEO Robert Galvin

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