Chairman & CEO, Qualcomm Incorporated
Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is chief executive officer of Qualcomm Incorporated and is chairman of the Company’s board of directors. Dr. Jacobs has been the primary driver of Qualcomm’s focus on enabling wireless data services, which make the cellphone a tool not only for voice communications, but also the most personal device for entertainment, computing and information access. Following completion of his Ph.D. in 1989 and a year as a post-doctoral researcher at a French government lab in Toulouse, Dr. Jacobs joined the company fulltime in 1990 as a development engineer leading the cellphone digital signal processor software team. His early work focused on the initial variable-rate 8 kbps speech codec for CDMA. Following this effort, Dr. Jacobs spearheaded the wireline-quality 13 kpbs speech codec effort, which became CDMA’s initial differentiating consumer feature. The core engineering team involved in this effort would later be integral to the development of Qualcomm’s Launchpad™ suite of functions and capabilities that ship as software with every Qualcomm chipset. As an innovative leader of a broad range of technical teams within Qualcomm, Dr. Jacobs has also been granted more than 25 patents for his inventions in the area of wireless technology. In 1995, he became vice president and general manager of the combined handset and integrated circuit division, which was subsequently divided into Qualcomm Consumer Products (QCP) and Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, respectively. He was named senior vice president of the Company in 1996 and president of QCP in 1997; he was named executive vice president of Qualcomm in 2000 and group president of QUALCOMM Wireless & Internet (QWI) in 2001. QCP developed and manufactured the wireless industry’s first CDMA digital handsets, supporting the rapid global deployment of cdmaOne in the 1990s. Under Dr. Jacobs, that business became the No. 2 CDMA handset supplier in the U.S. prior to its sale to Kyocera Wireless in 2000, with revenues of more than $1.4 billion in Qualcomm ‘s Fiscal 1999. At QCP, Dr. Jacobs gained extensive operational experience, helped launch numerous CDMA systems and cultivated important executive relationships at top network operators and manufacturers globally. Other, important developments which began under Dr. Jacobs in QCP include the first Palm OS®-based smartphone. He started QUALCOMM’s initiative to include global positioning system capabilities in cellphones (which led to the acquisition of SnapTrack™ and QUALCOMM’s development of gpsOne™ position-location technology) and drove the development of a uniform set of application programming interfaces to simplify the process of putting software on handsets. Dr. Jacobs expanded this latter idea into the overall concept for the BREW® system, which included dynamic downloading of applications to cellphones with checks for digital signatures on the applications to ensure the integrity of the content, and the business ecosystem that enables BREW developers to engage operators globally and receive payment for their applications. The BREW solution is now deployed broadly by wireless network operators around the world. He was an early proponent of embedding TCP/IP in CDMA phones at a time when the industry thought of cellphones purely as mobile voice devices, and worked with operators and industry partners to develop technology that allowed CDMA-based devices to directly connect to the Internet. Dr. Jacobs first conceived of deploying voice over Internet protocol as the basis for push-to-talk capabilities over CDMA networks. This became QChat™, which was licensed by Nextel prior to its merger with Sprint. More recently, he helped develop many of the technical concepts for the MediaFLO system along with the business strategy for commercializing this new mobile broadcast solution. Dr. Jacobs also has been responsible for establishing and/or managing joint ventures with Sony, Microsoft and Ford and, following the sale of the handset division, he served as CEO of QCP Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, which provided contract design and distribution services to Kyocera Wireless. Most recently, Dr. Jacobs was executive vice president and group president of QWI. In this role, Jacobs oversaw Qualcomm Technology Licensing, Qualcomm Internet Services, MediaFLO™ USA Inc. and MediaFLO technology development, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Qualcomm Enterprise Services (formerly Qualcomm Wireless Business Solutions), Qualcomm Government Technologies and Qualcomm Technology & Ventures. Dr. Jacobs was also responsible for overseeing the corporate marketing functions and the Company’s standards organization. Dr. Jacobs received his bachelor’s (1984) and master’s (1986) degrees, and his Ph.D. (1989) in electrical engineering from the University of California-Berkeley, and subsequently endowed the ‘Paul and Stacy Jacobs Distinguished Professor of Engineering’ chair at the school. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi honor societies. Dr. Jacobs serves on the boards of A123Systems and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of California-Berkeley, College of Engineering; the Advisory Board of University of California-San Diego, Jacobs School of Engineering; and the Young President’s Organization.