Motorola President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Zafirovski resigned from the company effective Jan. 31.

Zafirovski, named president and chief operating officer in 2002, was considered by many to be a prime candidate to become Motorola's CEO after Chris Galvin resigned that post in September 2003. Instead, Motorola went outside the company and named former Sun Microsystems executive Ed Zander as CEO.

In a prepared statement, Zafirovski described his Motorola tenure as “very rewarding” but said “this is the right time for me to start considering other opportunities.” With Zafirovski's resignation, the presidents of Motorola's four business groups will report directly to Zander, according to the company.