Cristiano Amon is the right choice to run Qualcomm

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf is calling it a day in June and will be succeeded by the man so seems to be already running the company anyway.

For as long as this hack has been covering Qualcomm – around 13 years – Cristiano Amon (right) was Qualcomm’s most trusted spokesperson. There have been others, but at the most senior level it was just him. And for the last few years it has been Amon, rather than Mollenkopf (left), doing the heavy lifting at Qualcomm events, keynotes, etc, so it has felt like he was in charge of the whole shebang.

Mollenkopf is only 52-years old and yet Qualcomm says he’s retiring, so we hope it’s just because he hot sick of the sight of silicon and wanted to spend more time with his yacht. While he presided over the successful transition into the 4G era, having taken the reins in 2014, Mollenkopf will probably be best known for being at the helm as Qualcomm steered its way through an attempted hostile takeover by Broadcom and some vexatious, doomed litigation from Apple.

“I am immensely proud of all that we have accomplished at Qualcomm and the position the company currently enjoys as the world’s leader in wireless technologies,” said Mollenkopf. “With our business model clearly validated and our leadership in 5G, this is the right time for Cristiano to assume leadership of the Company and preside over what I see as the single largest opportunity in the company’s history.

“Cristiano spearheaded the development of our 5G strategy, including its acceleration, industry-leading technology roadmap and global rollout. He was also a key architect and driver of Qualcomm’s strategy to expand and diversify our business beyond mobile and into new industry segments such as Auto, RF Front-End and IoT. Qualcomm is well positioned for the future and I am confident that with Cristiano as CEO, the company will continue to invent leading technologies and create value for all of our stakeholders.”

How fitting that by far the most substantial canned quote Mollenkopf issued in 26 years at the company should be his parting sentiments.

“I am honoured to be named the next CEO of Qualcomm and appreciate the confidence that Steve and the Board have in me,” said Amon. “Qualcomm is an incredible company. We have been at the forefront of innovation for decades and I look forward to maintaining this position going forward.

“In addition to driving the expansion of 5G into mainstream devices and beyond mobile, Qualcomm is set to play a key role in the digital transformation of numerous industries as our technologies become essential to connecting everything to the cloud. The need for our solutions has never been more pronounced and our leadership position has never been more evident.”

That remains to be seen Cristiano, but in our opinion your leadership represents Qualcomm’s best chance of living up to the hype. As Amon said, while Qualcomm remains the leader when it comes to smartphone 5G modems, much to Apple’s evident irritation, its growth potential lies in bringing connectivity to everything else. That will be the new CEO’s priority and we look forward to seeing what his company comes up with, as well as his future experiments with facial hair.

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