Former CEO and outgoing director Paul Jacobs told shareholders Qualcomm has created “humanity’s biggest platform” at an anticlimactic annual meeting Friday following President Trump’s rejection of the Broadcom takeover bid.
“We created humanity’s biggest platform — the wireless Internet,” said Jacobs. “Thank you to everyone who made this company and journey possible.”
Jacobs was not re-nominated as a director following a decision to pursue a possible private buyout of the San Diego wireless pioneer. But he made no mention of his plans at the meeting, ending a short talk by saying, “I intend to keep inventing.”
Some 400 shareholders, company executives and media filled Jacobs Hall on the main Qualcomm campus for the meeting that was originally scheduled for March 6 but postponed by federal order. President Trump later blocked Singapore-based Broadcom’s takeover bid, saying it “threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”
With the hostile takeover blocked, there was no proxy battle at Friday’s meeting. Shareholders didn’t have to choose between rival slates of directors nominated by the two companies.
“This past year our continued success as an innovator has been overshadowed by a series of events,” noted Board Chairman Jeffrey Henderson at the beginning of the meeting.
During the 23-minute formal session, management’s slate of 10 directors was reelected, management proposals were approved, and a shareholder proposal to change the company’s bylaws was rejected.
Shareholders then heard from both Jacobs and CEO Steve Mollenkopf, and finally a panel of executives took questions from those in attendance.
Mollenkopf forecast $7 billion to $8 billion in new revenue this fiscal year due to innovations in the pipeline from areas spanning 5G, the Internet of things, networking and automotive electronics. He was also optimistic about settling a long-running dispute with Apple over licensing payments to Qualcomm for technology used in the iPhone.
“This has been a challenging year for the company and for stockholders,” he said, but added, “I think that we’ll see that we made a lot of important decisions.”
Asked by one shareholder how a possible trade war with China might affect the company, Mollenkopf described Qualcomm as “China friendly” with deep relationships in that country. He vowed to be “active and on the ground to protect our business.”
That last question was when Qualcomm would introduce 6G, the next generation after the 5G smartphones that will begin to appear in the next year. “Rest assured; we’re working on it,” Mollenkopf said.
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