Paul Jacobs to step down as Qualcomm CEO

The CEO at Qualcomm has stepped down from his role. Dr Paul Jacobs, son of founder and former CEO Irwin Jacobs, will assume the role of executive chairman at the firm and will help guide development of new technology. COO Steve Mollenkopf has been promoted to CEO-elect, president of the company and appointed to the board of directors. He will assume the role on March 4th.

Jacobs joined Qualcomm in a full time role in 1990 as a development engineer. He then became vice president and general manager of the combined handset and integrated circuit division, before becoming CEO in July 2005 and chairman in 2009. According to Qualcomm, Jacobs has been granted more than 45 patents for his inventions in the areas of wireless technology and devices.

“With today’s announcement, we enable a smooth transition to a proven executive in Steve Mollenkopf, while providing for ongoing executive guidance and Board-level leadership from Paul Jacobs,” said Sherry Lansing, presiding director of Qualcomm’s Board of Directors and chair of its Governance Committee.

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“Qualcomm’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Steve Mollenkopf to the board of directors and his transition to CEO. We have the highest degree of confidence that his leadership will further expand Qualcomm’s impressive record of innovation and continued stockholder value creation.”

Mollenkopf has been at Qualcomm for nearly 20 years and held a variety of leadership positions including leading the chipset business, which became the world’s largest mobile chipset supplier and the global leader in LTE technology, according to the firm.

He also was at the helm of the chipset business when it completed the $3.1bn acquisition of Atheros, Qualcomm’s largest acquisition to date.

“Qualcomm’s focus on execution in product and technology development has helped to establish us as a leader in wireless with our partners,” said Mollenkopf. “I look forward to working with our executive team and our employees in driving growth for our Company and the entire mobile ecosystem as it transitions to 4G and beyond.”

Jacobs described Qualcomm as a company of inventors and entrepreneurs. “I want to congratulate Steve on his expanded role. I have the utmost confidence in him and in the rest of the management team that they will continue to drive technical and business innovations, ensuring the growth and future of Qualcomm,” he said.

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