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Motorola CEO Defends Timing of Stock Sale

July 31, 2002|Associated Press

Motorola Inc. Chief Executive Christopher Galvin said he had "absolutely no knowledge" that the company's operating chief was about to quit when he sold 40,000 shares last week, a day before the resignation announcement sent the stock plummeting.

Defending his stock transaction at a meeting with analysts, Galvin called the timing of the sale regrettable because it coincided with Edward Breen's departure.

Breen, who also was Motorola's president, was credited with helping to craft a modest turnaround at the long-slumping cell phone and semiconductor maker.

The announcement late Thursday afternoon that he was leaving caused the company's volatile stock--which already had fallen $1.28, to $12.18, that day--to tumble an additional 10% to $10.90 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. Motorola shares fell 11 cents, to $11.98, on Tuesday.

"I had absolutely no knowledge of Ed's intentions or events," Galvin said at the start of the company's annual meeting with financial analysts outside Chicago.

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