Sanjay Jha

Profession: Corporate IT Executive
Birthplace: Madhubani Bihar, the eastern state of India
Position: Co-CEO/CEO of Handset Unit, Motorola

When Motorola’s share of the global cell phone market plunged from 24% in 2006 to just 9.5% in 2008, it recruited Qualcomm COO Sanjay Jha in August of 2008. In his first year Jha made a splash in the business world by becoming the highest-paid CEO in the U.S. His salary was a modest $480,000, but ballooned to $104 million after his $36 mil. in stock grants and another $68 mil. worth of options.

In his first year Jha worked hard to return Motorola to the blazing glory of its Razr hit which sold 50 million units. The result is the Motorola Cliq with Motoblur, touted as “The First Phone with Social Skills”. Motoblur automates the tedious task of keeping multiple social networking sites updated and synced while handling voice, text, chat and email. Cliq is based on Android, Google’s bid to leapfrog iPhone in the 3-G handset operating system sphere. One of Cliq’s advantages is that, unlike iPhone, it is available from multiple cell phone carriers.

The Cliq with Motoblur was released on September 10, 2009 to great fanfare at the tech-trendsetting GigaOm Mobilize ’09 Conference. Since then it has won mostly raves, especially from reviewers who put a premium on living fast-paced virtual lives on the net’s social networking infrastructure.

Jha, 46, was born in the Madhubani region of the east Indian state of Bihar. During his 15 years in Britain he received a BS in engineering from the University of Liverpool and a PhD in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Jha’s first job was with GEC Hirst Research Labs in London. He moved to the United States in 1994 to work as an engineer at Brooktree Corporation in San Diego before moving to Qualcomm. He progressed quickly to the post of Chief Operating Officer by late 2006. Jha married in England in 1991. He and his wife have 3 sons.