Qualcomm will promote COO to replace Paul Jacobs as CEO

The move comes hours after reports that Microsoft was considering Qualcomm COO Steve Mollenkopf as a possible replacement for Steve Ballmer

Qualcomm's new CEO Steve Mollenkopf.

Qualcomm's new CEO Steve Mollenkopf.

Chip maker Qualcomm will promote current COO Steve Mollenkopf to the role of CEO next year. He will replace long-standing CEO Paul Jacobs, son of one of the company's founders, Irwin Jacobs, the company said Friday.

The move comes hours after Bloomberg, quoting anonymous sources, reported that Microsoft's board was considering Mollenkopf as a replacement for its CEO Steve Ballmer. Were Mollenkopf to end up at Microsoft, he would find himself both a customer of his former employer, and embroiled in a number of patent lawsuits with it.

Mollenkopf is a 20-year veteran at Qualcomm, having previously run the company's chipset business during its 2011 acquisition of wireless networking chip maker Atheros for US$3.1 billion. He will take over on March 4, following the company's shareholder meeting.

Jacobs, who is around 50, will stay on with the company in his role as chairman to provide guidance and leadership, the board said. In a statement, it thanked him for his strategic vision over his nine years as CEO during which, it said, the company's market capitalization doubled and its revenue quadrupled.

The board said the appointment would ensure continuity for the company, although given Jacobs' relative youth, the move may be more about retaining Mollenkopf than preparing for Jacobs' departure.

Qualcomm was one of the first companies to push the CDMA mobile technology, for which its founders helped lay the technical foundations, and in recent years has made a name for itself as a designer of mobile phone processors such as the SnapDragon range found in Motorola's Moto G and Nokia's Lumia 1520: Market leaders Apple and Samsung Electronics design their own smartphone processors.

Relations between Qualcomm and some of its customers are a little strained, however. Qualcomm is an investor in a company suing mobile phone manufacturers including Nokia and Motorola for alleged patent infringement, while Nokia is suing Qualcomm customer HTC in another chip patent dispute.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesprocessorsqualcommpersonnelComponents

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?