Qualcomm appoints new president amid Apple legal battle and Broadcom takeover threat

Qualcomm is undergoing a leadership reshuffle that will see the telecoms giant appoint a new president for 2018. As of January 4th, current executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and president of QCT, Cristiano R. Amon, will take the reigns with current president Derek Aberle set to leave Qualcomm on New Year’s Eve after 17 years with the firm.

The chipmaker has also been the subject of a proposed $105 billion takeover bid from Broadcom. While Qualcomm rejected the bid, Broadcom reportedly isn’t backing down. This has allegedly raised some concern at Google and Microsoft, two of Qualcomm’s biggest customers.

In a press release, Qualcomm confirmed that Amon will continue to lead the company’s QCT business in addition to helping “formulate and drive key strategies for growing the company in both Qualcomm’s core businesses, as well as new business opportunities.”

Qualcomm CEO, Steve Mollenkopf, talked up the appointment, stating: “Cristiano’s unique mix of business, engineering and operational skills and experience make him ideally suited to continue driving Qualcomm’s technology and leadership positions across mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking – and lead the transition to 5G.”

As 2017 is coming to an end, a three major SoC announcements from the big Android mobile chip vendors are rounding off the year. Qualcomm just unveiled its Snapdragon 845, Samsung recently gave away a few. While Amon’s promotion comes after recent success with Qualcomm’s QCT management, he’s by no means a new face at the San Diego firm, having taken on numerous engineering, business, and technical roles since as far back as 1995.

The appointment also comes at a crucial time for Qualcomm as it enters what could be another turbulent year. In the past twelve months, Qualcomm has become further mired in an ongoing legal struggle with Apple which started back in January. The bitter dispute has escalated so far that Apple is reportedly considering ditching all ties with the firm by sourcing crucial iPhone modem chips from rivals like Intel or MediaTek.

Despite the industrial turmoil, Qualcomm has adopted a business as usual approach to its release slate. The recently-announced Snapdragon 845 chipset looks all set to power the top flagship Android phones throughout the coming year.