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Citing Buyout Talk, Qualcomm Board Says It Won’t Renominate Paul Jacobs

In the wake of reports former Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs was seeking to take the company private, Qualcomm said he would not be renominated to the company’s board of directors.

Shareholders are slated to vote on the board makeup at their annual meeting, slated for March 23.

“The board reached that decision following his notification to the board that he has decided to explore the possibility of making a proposal to acquire Qualcomm,” the company said.

The company also said the board would consider any proposal from Jacobs for acquisition.

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Jacobs, in a statement sent in response to the Qualcomm announcement, said it was “unfortunate and disappointing” the board was trying to remove him, and confirmed his interest in a buyout.

“There are real opportunities to accelerate Qualcomm’s innovation success and strengthen its position in the global marketplace,” Jacobs said. “These opportunities are challenging as a standalone public company, and (there) are clear merits to exploring a path to take the company private in order to maximize the company’s long-term performance, deliver superior value to all stockholders, and bolster a critical contributor to American technology.”

Jacobs, the son of the firm’s cofounder Irwin Jacobs, has been with the company since 1990. He served as an executive vice president from 2000 to 2005, group president of its wireless and internet units from 2001 to 2005, and CEO from 2005 to 2014.

He has been a director since 2005.

On March 9, when Broadcom’s bid for the company was still viable, Jacobs stepped down from his position on the board as executive director in favor of Jeffrey Henderson, an independent director, who was named a non-executive director.

Qualcomm said at the time it was discontinuing the position Jacobs had formerly held.

Broadcom’s hostile takeover attempt was quashed recently by a presidential order that prohibited any such transaction on national security grounds.

Prior to the order, Broadcom had nominated a slate of candidates to the Qualcomm board, which would have eased the path to acquisition had shareholders approved its nominees. But the meeting was delayed while a U.S. government panel investigated the deal, then recommended to President Donald Trump it be forbidden.

Broadcom has since withdrawn its nominees and ended its bid.

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