Former Qualcomm boss pivots toward 5G startup XCOM

Jacobs is the son of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, and served as the company’s CEO between 2005 and 2014. (WikiCommons/World Economic Forum)

Paul Jacobs, former Qualcomm chairman who left the board last year after he attempted to acquire the company, said he’ll focus on his new startup instead, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).


Jacobs launched the networking company in June 2018 with two other former Qualcomm executives, though details of the startup and its technology are slim. Jacobs told WSJ in an interview that XCOM’s tech gives “everyone’s phones the ability to route traffic like a cell tower.” XCOM just closed its acquisition of M87, another networking startup led by former T-Mobile executive Cole Brodman. M87’s technology creates device-to-device mesh networks to help carriers improve network performance.


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Jacobs is the son of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, and served as the company’s CEO between 2005 and 2014. In 2018, Jacobs stepped down as the executive chairman of the company as Broadcom pushed to acquire it.


RELATED: U.S. government halts Qualcomm-Broadcom action amid national security concerns


In early 2018, Jacobs indicated to the board his interest in acquiring the company himself. But, with Jacobs’ shares of the company at just 0.13%, the proposal was considered by the board as being too far-fetched to consider. WSJ reported that the board “ousted” Jacobs as a result of the proposal. Jacobs then decided to scrap his plan.


“As Qualcomm’s position changed, the conditions weren’t right to take it private,” Jacobs told WSJ. “However, industry dynamics have created an opportunity for our new company XCOM to drive the development of advanced wireless technologies, and we have exciting new ideas to bring to market.”

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