Dennis Woodside

Dropbox hires first COO amid Google divestiture

February 13, 2014: 10:24 AM ET

Dropbox grabs Google's Motorola Mobility boss, Dennis Woodside.

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FORTUNE -- Dennis Woodside ran Motorola Mobility for Google, but apparently he won't be doing the same for Lenovo.

Just weeks after Google (GOOG) agreed to sell the money-losing unit for $2.9 billion, Woodside has agreed to join storage company Dropbox as its chief operating officer.

Dropbox has raised $507 million in venture capital funding. Its most recent deal, a $250 $350 million Series C round that valued the company at $10 billion, quelled speculation that the San Francisco-based company would file for an IPO in the near term.

Dropbox competes with Box, another online storage startup. Last week, Quartz reported Box had confidentially filed to raise $500 million in an IPO. Box's latest round of outside funding valued the company at $1 billion.

RELATED: Dropbox revamps Dropbox for Business

In the past, Dropbox has focused on offering storage space to consumers but has moved into Box's core market, the business-to-business world. Woodside will lead Dropbox's push into that arena, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Traditionally, the young engineer founders of successful startups are asked to step aside for a more seasoned "adult" executive. But the changes in ownership structures of startups, and the fact that they're waiting longer to go public, has seen more founders retaining their CEO role. So the "adults" are now becoming COOs, like Woodside and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg.

That said, it doesn't always last. Groupon's (GRPN) CEO and co-founder Andrew Mason has stepped down since his company's IPO. Likewise for Mark Pincus, founder and former CEO of Zynga (ZNGA).

A Dropbox representative did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Update: Dropbox has confirmed the hire. Houston issued the following statement:

We've long admired Dennis's leadership at Google and Motorola where he ran multi-billion dollar businesses and built amazing organizations around the world. We're so happy to welcome Dennis to our team -- I can't imagine a better person to help us bring Dropbox to global scale.

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