Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), the world’s leading chipset maker for mobile handsets, has appointed its chief executive officer (COO) Steve Mollenkopf as the next chief executive officer (CEO) effective Mar 4, 2014. This will bring an end to the speculations of Mollenkopf becoming the next CEO of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).
Steve Mollenkopf, aged 44, will succeed Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, the current CEO and president of Qualcomm. However, Jacobs, aged 51, will become the Executive Chairman. His expertise is expected to help the company achieve its future goals.
Mollenkopf joined Qualcomm as an engineer in 1994. Later, he was to head the company’s chip business, QCT, in 2008. Under his leadership, the company made its largest purchase by acquiring Atheros for $3.1 billion in 2011.
As far as Mollenkopf’s qualification is concerned, he holds a masters degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech. We believe his technical proficiency and a great track record will benefit Qualcomm going forward.
Qualcomm’s mobile chipset business has already gained huge traction and is widely used in Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android devices and Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhones. Last year, the company secured the third place in the semi-conductor industry, behind the market leader Intel Corporation (INTC) and Samsung Electronics. We believe that the company will continue to perform well buoyed by significant surge in the demand for smartphones and tablets.
In the fourth quarter, Qualcomm shipped approximately 190 million CDMA-based MSM chipsets, up 35% year over year. This figure significantly surpassed the company’s guidance of a mid-point of 176 million. The company expects to ship 195–210 million MSM chipsets in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.
Currently, Qualcomm carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).