Dennis Woodside Dropbox39s first COO

Dennis Woodside, Dropbox's first COO

Dropbox Hires Dennis Woodside Away from Google

Google's Dennis Woodside, who had been running the company's Motorola division, is leaving the public cloud giant to become Dropbox's first COO.

Google has sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo in a $2.9 billion deal, but the company that also picked up some of IBM's business units won't be getting the Motorola CEO in the deal. Dennis Woodside is leaving Google amidst the transition to join up with one of its competitors in the storage space—namely, Dropbox.

Woodside is joining Dropbox as the company's first chief operating officer (COO), reporting to Drew Houston, the younger and less experienced founder and CEO of Dropbox. Snagging the head of Google's struggling mobility subsidiary may not seem like a great deal, but consider that Woodside spent more than a decade with Google before being named head of Motorola Mobility in May 2012.

The executive joined Google in 2003 and took responsibility for driving Google's investments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He was later named vice president of Google's America operations before landing the CEO job at Motorola.

That's a man with a lot of knowledge about the cloud space. He saw it grow from the perspective of one of its major players, and that's a great resource to be able to tap.

It's a little surprising Woodside wasn't tapped to take over the reins from Houston, who doesn't have the same business experience than his new COO has. After all, it's common for a startup to hire a ringer to lead the company once it's progressed beyond the startup phase.

Instead, it looks as though Houston will be relying on Woodside's experience to help guide Dropbox as it continues to grow more and more into the business realm. It's a tack taken by other young entrepreneurs recently (just ask Mark Zuckerberg).

As competition in the storage heats up even more, it'll be good for Dropbox to have a veteran of the cloud around to draw on his knowledge.

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