Lenovo has been struggling to hold onto Motorola Mobility leadership since acquiring the company from Google back in 2014. Moto CEO Dennis Woodside was first to jump ship, quickly taking a job at Dropbox. More recently Rick Osterloh left Motorola Mobility and returned to Google to head a new hardware division. Now Lenovo is losing its lead designer too.
Motorola design chief Jim Wicks recently revealed plans to leave the company for a faculty position at Northwestern University. He’s set to join the school’s engineering program as a teacher for the Segal Design Institute. He’ll also mentor design students as part of the new role.
“Northwestern is the ideal home for the next step in my career,” Wicks said. “I have been a friend of the Segal Design Institute for years, and I look forward to teaching design innovation to the next generation of designers and engineers.”
Wicks worked at Motorola for 15 years, overseeing design for some of the company’s most iconic devices. That includes the RAZR cell phone, the DROID series and the Moto 360. He also served as director of design for Sony from 1987 to 2000. His departure may finally mark the end of an era as the Moto brand becomes subsumed by Lenovo.