The announcement represents the end of an era for the San Diego-based wireless pioneer as it will be the first time since the company’s founding that a member of the Jacobs family has not served in a top executive role.
Jacobs is the son of Irwin Jacobs, who with Andrew Viterbi founded the company in 1985. The younger Jacobs, who was CEO from 2005 to 2014, will remain on the board, “but will no longer serve in an executive management capacity,” the company said.
“The board is committed to the principles of strong corporate governance and believes that having an independent director as chairman at this important juncture in Qualcomm’s history is in the best interest of the company and our stockholders,” the company said in a statement before financial markets opened on Friday.
Qualcomm shares were trading around $63, up nearly 2 percent, shortly after markets opened.
The board named Jeffrey W. Henderson, an independent Qualcomm director since 2016, to serve as non-executive chairman. Henderson was chief financial officer of Cardinal Health from 2005 to 2014 and previously held management positions at Eli Lilly and General Motors.
“We are unanimous in our view that Jeff is the ideal choice for this role based on his deep financial, operational, and international experience as well as his strong stockholder orientation. We are focused on maximizing stockholder value, and will consider all options to achieve that objective, as we seek to move Qualcomm forward by closing the acquisition of NXP, strengthening our licensing business, and capitalizing on the enormous 5G opportunity before us,” said Tom Horton, lead director.
Horton described Jacobs as “a technology visionary whose ideas and inventions have contributed significantly to the growth of both the company and the industry.”
“Paul has led the development of generations of semiconductors that have fueled smart phones and the worldwide wireless revolution of the past 30 years. His deep expertise, coupled with a focus on innovation, have made Qualcomm a leader in critical technologies and positioned us at the forefront of the industry,” Horton said.
Broadcom is offering $79 per share in a deal valued at over $100 billion to acquire the San Diego company. It’s also seeking to install a new board of directors who will back the takeover.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: