Qualcomm appoints new CEO

Qualcomm appoints new CEO

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Cristiano Amon is to take over at Qualcomm in July after Steve Mollenkopf retires as CEO.

Amon, who has worked at Qualcomm since 1995, is currently President of the Company and 5G lead. Mollenkopf will continue as a strategic advisor for a period of time after 26 years at the company.

Mollenkopf, 52, took over in March 2014 from Paul Jacobs, son of founder Irwin Jacobs, after a battle over strategy. In 2016, the company tried to acquire NXP for $47bn and as a result was the target of a hostile $106bn takeover bid by Broadcom that failed. The NXP deal collapsed in 2018 as part of the US-China trade war as Chinese approval for the deal was denied.

“Steve navigated through unprecedented circumstances during his tenure, facing more in his seven years as CEO than most leaders face in their entire careers,” said Mark McLaughlin, Chair of Qualcomm’s Board of Directors.

Mollenkopf is credited with the recent stellar growth at the company through a strategy and technology roadmap for 3G, 4G and now 5G, and he also oversaw the expansion into new industry segments such as the Internet of Things (IoT), RF Front End and Automotive.

“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.”

Next: Qualcomm strategy

“He [Cristiano] 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,”  said Mollenkopf. “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.”

As president, Amon, 50, is responsible for Qualcomm’s semiconductor business (QCT), which includes Mobile, RF Front End, Automotive and IoT revenue streams, and the company’s global operations. He also serves as the co-Chairman of the World Economic Forum IoT Council.

“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,” said Amon. “The need for our solutions has never been more pronounced and our leadership position has never been more evident. I look forward to working with our 41,000 employees around the world to create technologies that revolutionize the way people live, work and connect with each other.”

Qualcomm is made up of several companies, from the licensing business, QTL, that holds the vast majority of the company’s patent portfolio alongside Qualcomm Technologies, which handles substantially all the engineering, research and development functions as well as the products and services businesses, including the Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) semiconductor business and QSI investment vehicle.

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