Qualcomm promotes Steve Mollenkopf to CEO

Scratch one off the list of rumored successors to Steve Ballmer at Microsoft. Mollenkopf will take the reins at Qualcomm in March.

Qualcomm's next CEO Steve Mollenkopf. Qualcomm

Qualcomm said Friday that Steve Mollenkopf will take over as CEO early next year.

Mollenkopf was named CEO-elect today, but will assume the official leadership role on March 4.

He replaces Paul Jacobs, who will remain with the company as executive chairman. The company said Jacobs, who is the son of one of the founders, would help guide the development of new technologies and its long-term opportunities.

The promotion comes shortly after Bloomberg reported that Mollenkopf was on a short list to potentially replace Steve Ballmer as the CEO of Microsoft.

Mollenkopf is a 20-year veteran of Qualcomm, and currently serves as the chief operating officer. He helped run the chipset business and drive its overall global strategy.

Qualcomm, of course, now dominates the mobile chip business, providing its Snapdragon mobile processor to most marquee smartphones and some tablets. Its ability to bundle a processor with a cellular radio has been one of the keys to its success.

And with its Toq smartwatch, Qualcomm has put its marker down in the hot tech field of wearable technology.

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