Qualcomm appoints Mollenkopf as CEO to scotch Microsoft rumours

Qualcomm has named Steve Mollenkopf as CEO after the board of directors approved the succession plan set out earlier this year and the appointment ends the ongoing rumours that he would pitch up as Microsoft’s new CEO.

The new CEO will take the reigns on 4 March 2014 and the role will see Mollenkopf take overall responsible for the company including all lines business and all functional groups that exist within the firm.

“We have the highest degree of confidence that his [Mollenkopf’s] leadership will further expand Qualcomm’s impressive record of innovation and continued stockholder value creation," said Sherry Lansing, Presiding Director of Qualcomm’s Board of Directors and chair of its Governance Committee.

Mollenkopf, previously the firm’s COO, will continue in his role as president and has had a rich history with the company over almost 20 years of service. In that time Mollenkopf has held a number of roles and recently led the company’s successful chipset business that has seen Qualcomm become the world’s largest mobile chipset supplier.

“I am honoured to have been chosen by the board to lead Qualcomm into the next exciting era of the Company. Qualcomm’s focus on execution in product and technology development has helped to establish us as a leader in wireless with our partners. 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,” Mollenkopf said.

It’s thought by some analysts that Microsoft’s interest forced Qualcomm’s hand, even though the firm is likely to have been considering the move for some time.

"Obviously Paul is still a very young man, so (this is) not something that many of us were expecting but something that has likely been in the works for some time," Williams Financial Group analyst Cody Acree told Reuters. "I think the consideration of Microsoft of Mollenkopf may have prompted a bit of a speedier announcement."

As part of the reshuffle Former CEO Paul Jacobs has been relegated to a role as executive president and was in charge of the firm from 2005 after taking over from father Irwin Jacobs, who co-founded the company back in 1985.