Dec. 13 (UPI) — Qualcomm promoted its chief operating officer, Steve Mollenkopf, to CEO amid rumors that he was a contender for the chief executive spot at Microsoft. He succeeds long-time head of Qualcomm, Paul Jacobs.
Mollenkopf was considered as a potential successor to Steve Ballmer to head Microsoft. Current CEO of Ford, Alan Mulally, is another top contender for the Microsoft job. But Qualcomm’s Mollenkopf works in a technology vertical far more related to Microsoft’s goals and challenges.
Qualcomm is the largest maker of semiconductors at a market capitalization of $120 billion. It makes chips that control smartphone functions. The company has been profiting from the mobile device boom, with revenues rising 30 percent in September from the year prior.
Mollenkopf’s new appointment will be effective in March 2014. Paul Jacobs, 52, was a son of a Qualcomm founder and was chief executive of the company since 2005. He remains executive chairman, but rescinds his role as CEO to make room for Mollenkopf.
It’s the first time someone has taken the role from outside of the Jacobs family since it was founded in 1985. Mollenkopf has been with the company for almost 20 years and has been COO since 2011.