Ex-Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs joins UK-based Arm’s board as the two firms fight in court


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Arm, a semiconductor technology licensing company, said Wednesday that former Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs has joined its board.

Jacobs served as Qualcomm’s chief executive officer from 2005 to 2014, then executive chairman until 2018. He left the board in March 2018 after exploring steps to make Qualcomm a private company after a failed hostile takeover attempt from rival Broadcom.

In an interview, Jacobs said he knows Arm well because he’s been a customer for many years, both at Qualcomm and at his current wireless technology company, XCOM Labs. He sees demand for Arm’s chip architecture expanding beyond smartphones and into other industries, such as automotive and data centers. As a member of Arm’s board, he can bring a significant experience to the public company as the UK-based company prepares to go public. .

Jacobs also has a relationship with Masayoshi Son, the head of Japan’s SoftBank group, which owns Arm.

“We’ve worked together for many years,” Jacobs said. “He asked me if I was interested. I thought it would be interesting.”

Jacobs declined to comment on the litigation between the two companies. “I just wanted to say that I also have a very good relationship with the people at Qualcomm. So let’s leave it at that.”

When asked if he owns Qualcomm stock, Jacobs said he is not a major shareholder. A Qualcomm spokesperson declined to comment.

In August, Arm filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm in Delaware federal court. It accused the San Diego company of infringing on chip architecture intellectual property licenses related to a new line of high-performance processors for laptops, digital cars, smartphones and other devices. other computer problems stemming from Qualcomm’s $1.4 billion acquisition of Nuvia.

Arm is seeking to destroy any chip designs related to the disputed licenses from the Nuvia acquisition, as well as the bans and monetary damages. Qualcomm is counting on those custom processor designs to provide central processing units—or CPUs—faster, more power efficient—for complex computing functions.

Qualcomm has its own Arm license. It protested that it had to destroy the technology Nuvia bought and filed a lawsuit claiming its own Arm was trying to force Qualcomm to pay higher licensing fees to make it look better to investors before going public. .

The company also alleges that Arm is seeking to pay back Qualcomm’s objection to a proposal to sell Arm to graphics chip maker Nvidia, which has failed in regulatory scrutiny.

Stacy Rasgon, an analyst with Bernstein Research, said the dispute between the two longtime partners is confusing because Qualcomm is pushing to expand Arm’s footprint into new markets such as cars and laptops. connection.

“If Arm goes public, they need to tell a story that isn’t smartphone-based,” he said. “They need to tell a story where they have all these other end markets. And Qualcomm is one of the biggest advocates for using Arm in other high-value applications.”

In addition to Jacobs, Arm also appointed Rosemary Schooler, former corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s AI and data center business, to board of manager.

“The unique insights and depth of experience that Paul and Rosemary bring will help us expand and diversify our board and bring tremendous value to Arm at such an important time. in our journey,” Arm CEO Rene Haas said in a statement.

2022 The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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