Steve Mollenkopf officially took over the role of Qualcomm CEO yesterday and sees major opportunities throughout the mobile market
New Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf says he still believes the smartphone market still has significant room to grow as developing markets continue to embrace mobile technology.
In an interview following his official annunciation as CEO, Mollenkopft warned that the biggest issue that the world’s largest smartphone processor manufacturer faces is that of becoming complacent in the face of increased competition, but also increased opportunity.
“You don’t ever want to get comfortable or you’ll have a lot of problems,” Mollenkopf told Bloomberg. “The impatience with where things stand today and wanting to push it forward is very common in the company.”
Pushing the boundaries
Mollenkopf officially succeeded Paul Jacobs as Qualcomm CEO yesterday, with the move finalised during the company’s annual board of directors meeting. Jacobs, whose father Irwin founded Qualcomm in 1985, moves to become executive chairman, where he will help guide the development of new technology and Qualcomm’s long-term opportunities.
“I couldn’t be more honoured and energised to lead the Company through these exciting times,” Mollenkopf said of his appointment. “I see numerous opportunities in the coming years for both Qualcomm and the greater industry.”
Qualcomm currently supplies its Snapdragon chips to many of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers, including the vast majority of devices running Android and Windows Phone. The company also provides Apple with modem equipment for its iPhone and iPad devices.
But Qualcomm is also involved with a range of other technologies, particularly concerning the Internet of Things. It is working with both the leading wireless power charging organisations in an attempt to bring the technology to a wider audience, and is also involved in efforts around electric cars and mobile health.
“The gap with what people want to do with the phone, or phone technology, and what we’re currently doing with it is pretty large,” Mollenkopf said. “Cell-phone technology has barely made it into the car, it’s barely made it into health care, it’s barely made it into a lot of areas where it will go.”
Mollenkopf also mentioned that a major focus for Qualcomm over the next few months is to target manufacturers using China Mobile’s network, which boasts 760 million users. Describing sales and revenue from such companies as a “top priority”, China’s transition towards LTE networks should see Qualcomm majorly benefit in the country.
However the company still faces a government antitrust investigation in China, which is looking into suggestions that Qualcomm abused its dominant market position and could mean it faces up to $1bn in fines.
Mollenkopf, however, declined to discuss the investigation, which is still ongoing, with further work due to be carried out over the next few months.
Mollenkopf had been rumoured to be one of the leading candidates for the Microsoft CEO job before the company appointed Satya Nadella to the post instead. He has worked at Qualcomm for over 20 years in a variety of leadership positions, most recently as the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, overseeing a major surge in growth for the company in the mobile technology sector over the last few years, including its entry into the 4G market.
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