At Qualcomm, rise of founder's son defies hazards of succession
When Paul E Jacobs took over from his father as chief executive of chip maker Qualcomm in 2005, mobile phones were just beginning their transition from tools for talking to hand-held computers delivering data and entertainment.Updated: Jun 13, 2011 21:26 IST
When Paul E Jacobs took over from his father as chief executive of chip maker Qualcomm in 2005, mobile phones were just beginning their transition from tools for talking to hand-held computers delivering data and entertainment.
"We talk about the future of computing being mobile, but I don't feel that way," said Jacobs. "I feel the present of computing is mobile."
While his father Irwin Jacobs was known for his dogged defense of the company's intellectual property, Paul is more prone to talk about a connected world where mobile devices diagnose our illnesses, turn on our lights and control our thermostats.
In fact, the younger Jacobs has positioned Qualcomm to lead the smartphone chip market as consumers increasingly do their computing in their palms.
Last year Qualcomm dominated a diverse field of smartphone chip makers with 41% of the marketshare in terms of revenue, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
The company's strategy has been to create high-function, low-powered chip sets for smartphones and tablets that connect with other devices. It's ARM-based Snapdragon chips are just such all-in-one processors.
"Qualcomm has been able to do the handoff from father to son that most others have not been able to do," said Cody Acree, analyst, Williams Financial Group. "I think the industry as a whole respected Paul, who has been a brilliant technologist, knowing he was not just being given the job because it was his dad's."
First Published: Jun 13, 2011 21:24 IST