Well, that was fast.
A day after reports surfaced that Qualcomm COO Steve Mollenkopf was one of several contenders being considered to become the next Microsoft CEO, Qualcomm announced that Mollenkopf would become its CEO in March.
Mollenkopf was named to the position of CEO-elect, and appointed to its board Thursday, according to a Qualcomm news release. Mollenkopf will take on the new position on March 4, following the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
Mollenkopf, who joined Qualcomm in 1994, succeeds Paul Jacobs, who will become executive chairman. Jacobs will help guide development of new technology and long-term opportunities.
Sherry Lansing, Presiding Director of Qualcomm’s board, said in the news release that the vote for Mollenkopf was unanimous, adding:
Qualcomm’s board of directors is responsible for ensuring the continuity of the Company’s senior leadership and that the executive team possesses the experience, skills and character required to achieve the Company’s goals. With today’s announcement, we enable a smooth transition to a proven executive in Steve Mollenkopf, while providing for ongoing executive guidance and Board-level leadership from Paul Jacobs.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had announced in August that would be retiring once his successor was found — something he expected to happen within 12 months. Most of the speculation earlier had centered around Ford CEO Alan Mulally as the leading candidate for the position though now the speculation is around whether some unnamed dark horse external candidate will be named.
Microsoft shares are trading this morning at $36.81, down 41 cents.