Microsoft considers Qualcomm COO Steve Mollenkopf for CEO position

Software vendor Microsoft is considering Qualcomm chief operating officer Steve Mollenkopf for its new chief executive officer position.

Steve Mollenkopf may be the right person to become Microsoft CEO, who can run a complex global business and work with its top technical talent. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates considers technical talent as the major condition for the new person to become the CEO of the largest global software vendor.

Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally, who was in the shortlisted list, may be the best suited to run an automobile firm with skills to turn around. Nokia ex-CEO Stephen Elop is yet to be considered as the successful CEO at the device vendor.

Mollenkopf, an engineer who holds several wireless patents and has risen to the top management ranks at Qualcomm since joining the company in 1994, appears to meet the requirements of the Microsoft CEO job laid out by Chairman Bill Gates last month, Reuters reported.

Qualcomm chief operating officer Steve Mollenkopf
Steve Mollenkopf has a successful long-term track record at the wireless chip major that rivals Intel and others.

As president and COO of Qualcomm, he is leading the company’s divisions, business operations, market expansion and development areas. Mollenkopf provides executive oversight to current and future technology development activities, further strengthening the Company’s ability to successfully navigate an increasingly complex and competitive market. He also serves as a member of Qualcomm’s executive committee, helping to drive Qualcomm’s overall global strategy, the website of Qualcomm says.

Since 2008, Mollenkopf led QCT and served as executive vice president and group president of Qualcomm, driving growth and providing critical technical and operational leadership. QCT is the world’s largest wireless chip supplier and fabless semiconductor company, in terms of revenue.

Under Mollenkopf’s leadership, QCT also completed the $3 billion acquisition of Atheros, the company’s largest acquisition to date, to accelerate the expansion of Qualcomm’s technologies and platforms to new businesses beyond cellular and provide access to significant new growth opportunities.

Mollenkopf joined Qualcomm in 1994 as an engineer and was a leading contributor to the Globalstar project before joining the QCT team in 1999. He played a central role in developing QCT’s roadmap and led the development and commercialization of the 3GPP family of air interface technologies. His technical and business leadership have also been critical to the development and implementation of multiple industry-leading innovations.

In addition, Mollenkopf holds patents in areas such as power estimation and measurement, multi-standard transmitter system and wireless communication transceiver technology.

Mollenkopf holds two electrical engineering degrees, a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

According to Reuters, in the past few months, attention has focused on Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally, a friend of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s current CEO who announced his plans to retire earlier this year. Mulally is credited with rescuing the beleaguered auto giant, but sources said an external tech executive is in the running, plus one or two internal executives.

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