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Qualcomm appoints new CEO

Claiming validation of its business model and leadership in 5G, the communications chip giant appoints successor to retiring chief executive with brief to drive value

Expressing confidence that it now has all of the necessary corporate building blocks in place to preside over what its retiring chief executive regards as the single largest opportunity in the company’s history, communications technology processor firm Qualcomm has announced Cristiano Amon as successor to Steve Mollenkopf as CEO.

The move will be effective from 30 June, after Mollenkopf informed the company’s board of his decision to retire as CEO following 26 years with the company.

Mollenkopf became CEO in March of 2014, and began his career as an engineer. For nearly three decades, he has helped define and lead Qualcomm’s strategy and technology roadmap.

The company credits his work helping to propel smartphones into the mainstream and making Qualcomm a leader in 3G, 4G and now 5G.

He also oversaw the firm’s expansion into new industry segments such as the internet of things (IoT), RF front end and automotive, and is recognised internally as being instrumental in the company’s rise as a smartphone technology supplier. Mollenkopf will continue his employment with the company as a strategic advisor for a period of time.

“I am immensely proud of all that we have accomplished at Qualcomm and the position the company currently enjoys as the world’s leader in wireless technologies,” he said in an announcement.

“Cristiano spearheaded the development of our 5G strategy, including its acceleration, industry-leading technology roadmap and global rollout,” added Mollenkopf. “Qualcomm is well positioned for the future and I am confident that with Cristiano as CEO, the company will continue to invent leading technologies and create value for all of our stakeholders.”

Read more about Qualcomm 5G technology

Amon, who has worked at Qualcomm since 1995, has served as president since January 2018, and is responsible for Qualcomm’s semiconductor business (QCT), which includes mobile, RF front end, automotive and IoT revenue streams, as well as the company’s global operations.

Amon has driven the expansion and diversification of the business across industries and customers, overseen Qualcomm’s 5G strategy, and for almost 15 years has been steering the development of a leading and differentiated product roadmap. He has also overseen the execution of M&A to augment Qualcomm’s capabilities and accelerate growth in key areas, including RF front end, connectivity and networking.

Remarking on his appointment, Amon said that he was honoured to be named the next CEO of Qualcomm. “We have been at the forefront of innovation for decades and I look forward to maintaining this position going forward,” he said.

“In addition to driving the expansion of 5G into mainstream devices and beyond mobile, Qualcomm is set to play a key role in the digital transformation of numerous industries as our technologies become essential to connecting everything to the cloud. The need for our solutions has never been more pronounced and our leadership position has never been more evident.”

These solutions include the recently launched Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform, said to be a landmark offering the first four-series mobile platform equipped with 5G, and designed to help drive further proliferation of the next-generation architecture.

Qualcomm said the new technology will allow users access to truly global 5G connectivity and what it calls “series-defying” performance to power in-demand productivity and entertainment experiences.

Intrinsically, the new platform features a central processing unit (CPU) with running capability up to 2.0 GHz to deliver up to 100% performance improvement in the CPU and graphics processing unit, and up to 70% artificial intelligence performance improvement compared with the previous generation.

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