Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, is retiring, Cristiano Amon takes over the administration

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, is retiring and will be replaced by Cristiano Amon, president of the chip manufacturer, on June 30th, the company announced on Tuesday.

The move by 52-year-old Mollenkopf marks a high point for the San Diego company, which is the largest maker of cellular connectivity chips and will benefit as more phones join 5G networks.

The company has emerged from a variety of challenges recently, including the Federal Trade Commission’s review of its business model, a legal battle with Apple, and a hostile takeover attempt by rival Broadcom.

Since 2014, when Mollenkopf became CEO, Qualcomm stock has risen 96.7%, up 71.7% last year.

“Steve has navigated unprecedented circumstances in his tenure and has faced more to deal with in his seven years as CEO than most executives in their entire career,” Qualcomm chairman Mark McLaughlin said in a statement.

Qualcomm battled legal issues with Apple and the FTC during Mollenkopf’s tenure. In 2019, Apple settled a lawsuit that challenged its business model of selling chips and licenses for wireless technologies. Apple paid Qualcomm $ 4.5 billion and Apple’s iPhone 12 uses Qualcomm’s 5G chips.

In August Qualcomm scored a pivotal victory in its battle against the FTC when a federal appeals court ruled that Qualcomm’s business practices were not anti-competitive, ending a saga in which Qualcomm’s core business model was scrutinized by regulators around the world.

In 2018, Qualcomm received an unsolicited merger offer from Broadcom, a competing semiconductor manufacturer based in Singapore. The deal, which would have valued the merger at $ 117 billion, was sunk by President Donald Trump, who cited national security concerns in the blockade.

Amon, 50, joined the company’s Mobile Chips division and has been Vice President since 2018. Qualcomm announced in November that it plans to ship 500 million 5G mobile chips in 2021.

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