Ted Waitt

Ted Waitt

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies named computer entrepreneur Ted Waitt as chairman of its board, effective immediately.

Irwin M. Jacobs, the current chairman of the Salk board, is stepping down after 10 years in the role.

The Salk Institute publicly announced the moves on Nov. 28 following a decision by the board Nov. 18.

Waitt co-founded Gateway Inc., which built personal computers and sold directly to consumers. Between 1998 and 2004, the business was based in San Diego County. Taiwan-based Acer bought Gateway in 2007.

Jacobs is co-founder of semiconductor and wireless technology specialist Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM).

Waitt is chairman of the Waitt Foundation and joined the Salk Institute’s board of trustees in 2004. In 2008, the Waitt Foundation gave the institute $20 million to create the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center. The center employs next-generation imaging and visualization tools that enable investigators from across many biological disciplines to take advantage of the latest technology for advancement in such research areas as aging, cancer, neuroscience, metabolism, vision, infectious diseases and genetic disorders.

Jacobs, who has taken the title chairman emeritus, described his successor as “wholly enthusiastic and committed to Salk’s basic biological research.” He added that Waitt “has the enterprising leadership and vision to expand the reach of the institute’s science even further.”

The Salk Institute is based in La Jolla.