Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Qualcomm Taps Steve Mollenkopf, Rumored as Microsoft Successor, as Its Next CEO

steve_mollenkopf-featureA day after he was mentioned in a news report as a possible dark-horse successor to outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Steve Mollenkopf, COO of wireless chipmaker Qualcomm, has been named as the company’s next CEO.

Mollenkopf will replace Paul Jacobs, who will remain executive chairman of Qualcomm, and who is the son of the company’s founder, Irwin Jacobs. The appointment will become effective on March 4.

Bloomberg News reported yesterday that Mollenkopf had emerged as a new name in the race to succeed Ballmer. The software giant has considered several outside candidates, including Ford CEO Alan Mulally and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. Internal candidates include Tony Bates, Microsoft’s current head of business development, and its enterprise chief, Satya Nadella.

Mollenkopf has been with Qualcomm since 1994, and has recently led its wireless-chipset business unit, known as QCT. On his watch, the company acquired the Wi-Fi-chip company Atheros in 2011 for $3.1 billion.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik