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Dr. Paul E. Jacobs

Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board Qualcomm Incorporated

Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is executive chairman and chairman of the board of Qualcomm Incorporated, where he is responsible for helping guide the development of new technologies and Qualcomm’s long-term opportunities. 

A leader in the field of mobile communications for more than 25 years and a key architect of Qualcomm’s strategic vision, Dr. Jacobs spearheaded Qualcomm’s efforts to develop and commercialize mobile technology breakthroughs that have significantly contributed to the growth of both the Company and the industry. Important developments which began under Dr. Jacobs include: the first smartphone based on Palm OS®; inclusion of GPS capabilities in mobile phones (which led to the acquisition of SnapTrack™ and Qualcomm's development of gpsOne™ position-location technology); the Brew® system, which enables over-the-air downloading of applications; QChat, a Voice over IP, push-to-talk system; mirasol®, a novel reflective display technology; and the Toq Smartwatch.

Following the completion of his Ph.D. in 1989 and a year as a post-doctoral researcher at a French government lab in Toulouse, Dr. Jacobs joined the Company fulltime in 1990 as a development engineer leading the mobile phone digital signal processor software team. Five years later, Dr. Jacobs became vice president and general manager of the combined handset and integrated circuit division, which was subsequently divided into Qualcomm Consumer Products and QCT, respectively. Dr. Jacobs served as CEO from July 2005 to March 2014 when he was appointed executive chairman. He has been chairman of the board since March 2009.

As an innovative leader of a broad range of technical teams within Qualcomm, Dr. Jacobs has been granted more than 82 patents related to wireless technology and devices. Dr. Jacobs chairs the U.S.-Korea Business Council and the Advisory Board of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, where he inaugurated the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation; vice chairman and co-owner of the NBA Sacramento Kings; a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum; a member of the US-India CEO Forum; is the Board President of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and serves on the Board of Directors for FIRST®, OneWeb, Light and Dropbox.
Dr. Jacobs received his bachelor's (1984) and master's (1986) degrees, as well as his doctorate (1989) in electrical engineering, from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Jacobs is a recipient of a number of industry, academic and corporate leadership awards:

  • 2007–2014 Institutional Investor, List of America’s Best (Telecom Sector) - Best CEO
  • 2008 Berkeley Engineering Innovation Award
  • 2008 Radio Club of America, The Sarnoff Citation
  • 2009 IEEE CASS Industrial Pioneer Award
  • 2010 Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award
  • 2011 Laptop Magazine, 25 Most Influential People in Mobile
  • 2011 NCAFP Global Business Leadership Award
  • 2011–2012 Global Telecoms Business, Power 100
  • 2012 VentureBeat, Top Ten Mobile Movers
  • 2012 FORTUNE, Ten Brilliant Technology Visionaries
  • 2012 Samsung Award of Honor
  • 2013 Sesame Workshop, Corporate Leadership Award
  • 2013 Edison Achievement Award
  • 2014 IEEE Ernst Weber Managerial Leadership Award
  • 2014 GSMA Chairman’s Award
  • 2014 Churchill Club, Legendary Leader Award
  • 2014 UCLA Anderson School of Management, John Wooden Global Leadership Award
  • 2015 IEEE Distinguished Industry Leader Award
  • 2016 Election to the National Academy of Engineering
  • 2016 TiE Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement Award