Mark McLaughlin
Mark McLaughlin. Image from Qualcomm video

Qualcomm announced Tuesday the appointment of Mark McLaughlin as its independent chairman of the board, succeeding Jeff Henderson, who had served in that capacity since March 2018.

McLaughlin is the former chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. Henderson, the former chief financial officer of Cardinal Health, will remain on the Qualcomm board and continue to chair its audit committee.

“Jeff assumed leadership of the board during a period of unparalleled challenges, becoming our first independent chairman and guiding the board through the company’s efforts to resolve significant business issues,” said McLaughlin. “The board is deeply appreciative of all that Jeff has done during this period of transition.”

The period included the abrupt end of Broadcom’s attempted takeover, the failure of the long-sought NXP Semiconductors acquisition, the rollout of 5G technology plus numerous antitrust challenges from multiple countries.

“It was a great honor to lead the board, particularly during this period. We are now seeing the dawn of a significant ramp in 5G enabled products and I felt that now seemed like the right time to pass on the baton,” said Henderson.

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf thanked Henderson for his “exemplary stewardship of the board” and said he looked forward to drawing on McLaughlin’s “deep experience in the technology industry.”

The San Diego-based wireless pioneer is the worldwide leader in cellular technology, with annual sales of over $22 billion.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.