Microsoft Considers Chief Operating Officer of Qualcomm on the CEO Role

Steve Mollenkopf Is Another Microsoft CEO Candidate – Report

by Anton Shilov
12/12/2013 | 11:19 PM

Although it looked like Microsoft Corp. has shrunk the list of candidates on the role of next chief executive officer of the company to a couple of people, it looks like the list is actually longer. A new media report suggests that Microsoft is considering Steve Mollenkopf, the current chief operating officer of Qualcomm. The contender is very interesting, but the fact that it is considered adds some colour to the logic behind decisions of Microsoft’s board of directors.


Steven Mollenkopf is on a list of several choices under serious consideration, reports Bloomberg news-agency. That list also includes Microsoft cloud executive Satya Nadella and external candidates, including Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally. The candidacy of the latter has faded amid concerns about his age as well as the lack of technology experience. The fact that Microsoft’s board of directors decided that the company may not necessarily need a chief exec that would reshape the company, but a CEO who could control development of new products.

Steve Mollenkopf serves as president and chief operating officer of Qualcomm, leading the company’s divisions, business operations, market expansion and development areas. Mr. Mollenkopf provides executive oversight to current and future technology development activities, further strengthening the company’s ability to successfully navigate an increasingly complex and competitive market. He also serves as a member of Qualcomm’s executive committee, helping to drive Qualcomm’s overall global strategy.

Mr. Mollenkopf joined Qualcomm in 1994 as an engineer and was a leading contributor to the Globalstar project before joining the QCT team, which develops Qualcomm’s famous application processors, in 1999. He played a central role in developing QCT’s roadmap and led the development and commercialization of the 3GPP family of air interface technologies. His technical and business leadership have also been critical to the development and implementation of multiple industry-leading innovations.

Qualcomm is the company that has managed to take big advantage of exploding sales of smartphones, tablets and other mobile gadgets. Therefore, he seems to be a good candidate if Microsoft wants to quickly catch up with leading mobile companies (like Apple, Google or Samsung), then Mr. Mollenkopf is a fine candidate. However, the current strategy of Microsoft is called “One Microsoft”, which means that the company will continue to focus on many areas while remaining a single company.

Satya Nadella, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, is responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services. Mr. Nadella and his team deliver the “Cloud OS”, Microsoft’s next generation backend platform, which is designed for modern application needs across all types of customers and types of use. In general, Mr. Nadella is shaping the future of the software in general, but may feature a number of emotions regarding Microsoft as a company that the BoD may not consider as an advantage.

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.