Paul Jacobs, executive chairman and former CEO of Qualcomm, was one of the people on the front lines of the mobile revolution as it first picked up steam in the early 2000s. Jacobs is directly responsible for many of the technologies we use today, as well as transforming Qualcomm into the company that would eventually become a mobile silicon juggernaut and dominate the flagship smartphone scene with their Snapdragon chipset offerings, such as the Snapdragon 820 present in the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and LG G5. Dropbox, meanwhile, was among the first to populate the then-niche space of consumer cloud storage and sharing, a space that was, until then, dominated for years by names like Megaupload and Mediafire.
While Dropbox managed to shake up the space when they hit the scene, they wound up being surpassed by the likes of Amazon, Google Drive and iCloud. Facing the very real possibility of being forced into irrelevance by bigger fish in the pond at a time when consumer cloud storage was just beginning to hit its stride, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston announced that Paul Jacobs would be joining Dropbox's board as a director. This comes at a time when Dropbox's half-million strong userbase isn't netting them quite the kind of profits they need. While their profit margin in the business sector is a bit higher, they only have about 150,000 customers, most of whom are small and medium-sized businesses. Jacobs will be tasked not only with helping to increase profit margins and signups in the consumer space, but also with bringing more businesses on board.
Speaking on the hiring, Houston said that Jacobs had "...been through a lot of what we are going through, and that is going to help." Jacobs, meanwhile, has said that he was quite enamored with Dropbox, mainly the company culture and the talent of their engineers. While a fish that was once small in a pond that was once small may sound like a classic tale of a business fizzling out, Houston assured that “We were the first unicorn to get a big valuation, so we have gotten the first hits with concerns about the market,” asking the industry to focus less on Dropbox's fading valuation and more on their potentially bright future. Bringing Jacobs in at such a time and in such a high-ranking position speaks volumes about Houston's trust in Jacobs' talent and experience, but only time will tell if that trust is well-placed.