Qualcomm Names Chip Chief Cristiano Amon As CEO

Cristiano Amon

In a statement made by Qualcomm, it was stated that CEO Steve Mollenkopf will retire this summer and Cristiano Amon will be the company's top official as of June 30.

Under Mollenkopf's leadership, Qualcomm truly transformed into the smartphone chip juggernaut that it is today, and is also making strides to replicate the same level of success in the world of PCs as well.

Qualcomm's board of directors has chosen Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm, to replace it. Upon Mollenkopf's announcement, the Qualcomm Board unanimously voted for Amon to succeed him.

Qualcomm prevailed in all three cases, and Mollenkopf leaves with its shares riding at almost three times their value during the depth of the crises. Amon himself has been at the company since 1995, joining as an engineer.

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For as long as this hack has been covering Qualcomm - around 13 years - Cristiano Amon (right) was Qualcomm's most trusted spokesperson. He became CEO in March 2014.

"We have been at the forefront of innovation for decades and I look forward to maintaining this position going forward", said the 50-year-old, a native of Brazil who restores vintage muscle cars in his spare time. He has been the company's president since January 2018, and headed up its 5G strategy. In addition to driving the expansion of 5G into mainstream devices and beyond mobile, Qualcomm is set to play a key role in the digital transformation of numerous industries as our technologies become essential to connecting everything to the cloud. The company is a leading supplier of communications chips for mobile phones, including Apple's latest offerings - though the iPhone maker has signaled it was starting to do some of that work in-house.

While the global pandemic initially dented demand for smartphones, handset sales have rebounded in recent months, leading Qualcomm to issue an optimistic forecast for 5G phone shipments this year, putting them at 450 million to 550 million. While the antitrust accusations and the disagreements he had with Apple marked Mollenkopf's era, it was also in the same period that the company dominated the mobile processors sector.

Qualcomm was founded in 1985 and it started as a contractor for government and research products. By 2000, the chipmaker has grown from an 8-employee company in 1986 to 6,300 employees.

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