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Steve Mollenkopf became the third CEO of Qualcomm Tuesday, ending the reign of the Jacobs family over the 28-year-old business. Mollenkopf replaces Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, who will become the executive chairman as part of a transition plan that was announced in December. Paul Jacobs had risen to CEO in 2005 after his father and the inventor of CDMA, Irwin Jacobs, stepped down from the role. Qualcomm has managed to continue growing the company even as its CDMA technology has become a casualty of time and GSM networks, and Mollenkopf will see it expand beyond mobile into the internet of things.

  1. CDMA did not become a casualty at all – quite the opposite. CDMA is the airlink technology underlying all 3G UMTS technologies. As a matter of fact, CDMA is the key to Qualcomm’s continued profits through its licensing business – because it collects royalties on almost all devices that have 3G (and thus CDMA) in them.

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