Qualcomm Scion Demoted Amid Takeover Struggle With Broadcom

Qualcomm scion Paul E. Jacobs was ousted from his position of Executive Chairman of the company's Board of Directors and is being replaced by independent director Jeffrey W. Henderson, effective immediately, the San Diego-based chipmaker announced Friday. Dr. Jacobs is the firm's first Executive Chairman, which is a role he filled since 2014 after serving nine years as Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer. The son of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs joined the tech giant five years after its establishment, having worked his way up the ranks since 1990. He's now set to stay on Qualcomm's board that's up for re-election next month, with recent reports suggesting Broadcom's coup attempt will also strip him of that position. As Mr. Henderson didn't have an active role in Qualcomm's everyday operations, he will replace Dr. Jacobs as a Non-Executive Chairman, the company confirmed.

The move is meant to underscore the independence of Qualcomm's board so as to preemptively dismiss any allegations that Dr. Jacobs's family history and his personal ties to the firm are somehow affecting its negotiations with Broadcom, or a lack thereof. Broadcom recently made such allegations, repeatedly accusing Qualcomm of not negotiating over its proposed merger in good faith and not being transparent with its investors, with the American chipmaker dismissing both claims. The duo once again started pointing fingers at each other earlier this month after a U.S. Treasury national security panel ordered a delay of Qualcomm's annual shareholder meeting that could have seen Broadcom take control of the company with its own directorial nominees who will be up for re-election at the gathering. The showdown that was first meant to take place this Tuesday is now scheduled to take place on April 5, with Qualcomm being expected to use the remaining time it has to try concluding its NXP Semiconductors purchase which could help it convince more investors to vote against Broadcom's candidates.

The $44 billion NXP acquisition is presently being blocked by China's antitrust watchdog, with some industry analysts speculating that state of affairs is a direct consequence of recent trade-related tensions between Washington and Beijing. Qualcomm on Friday once again extended its deadline for the completion of the tie-up which is now set to expire on Friday, March 16. If completed, Broadcom's proposed $117 billion consolidation would be by far the largest deal in the history of the technology industry.

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