Former Qualcomm Technologies CEO and current Founder and CEO of San Diego-based XCOM Labs Paul Jacobs is launching into a new position as head of Louisiana-based satellite communications company Globalstar.
Jacobs’ new role as Globalstar CEO was announced on Aug. 29 and coincides with a licensing agreement giving Globalstar exclusive access to certain XCOM Labs technologies and personnel, including XCOM executives Chief Technology Officer Matt Grob and Chief Scientist Peter Black, who also joined Globalstar, as well as XCOM technologists Tamer Kadous vice president of wireless, and Daaman Hejmadi, vice president of engineering.
The license covers several of XCOM Labs’ technologies for wireless spectrum innovations, including XCOMP, a commercially available coordinated multipoint radio system that offers capacity gains in sub 7 GHz spectrum, and XCOM’s peer-to-peer connectivity technologies that could have applications across cellular and satellite devices.
“Bringing together Globalstar’s terrestrial spectrum and relationships with leading partners around the world with XCOM’s differentiated technology, which is well suited for high-performance applications, creates a significant opportunity to deliver for private network customers with mission-critical needs,” Jacobs said, adding that he is also excited about Globalstar’s innovations in “small form-factor devices.”
Globalstar is the satellite firm behind Apple’s emergency communications services offered in the iPhone 14.
“Through the combination of Globalstar’s resources and XCOM’s technology, we can bring even more innovation to market,” Jacobs added.
Win-Win for Shareholders
The licensing deal was a win-win for shareholders of both companies.
Under the terms of the agreement, the cost to Globalstar, Inc. (NYSE American: GSAT) will be approximately 60 million shares of its common stock, valued at around $63.6 million. News of the agreement sent the value of those shares soaring. On Aug. 28, the day before the announcement, GSAT shares closed at $1.06. By the end of the week, shares had climbed to $1.48 at close on Sept. 1.
The rocket launch of GSAT shares was not entirely because of the XCOM Labs deal and the new slate of former Qualcomm executives in Globalstar’s C-suite. The company announced Sept. 1 it had also inked a $64 million deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch 17 Apple-backed satellites made by MDA in 2025 to build out its low Earth orbit (LEO) connectivity constellation.
Jacobs’ appointment to CEO of Globalstar, replacing retiring CEO David Kagan, is a big step in a relationship with the company that has been ongoing for many years. Globalstar was initially founded in 1991 as a joint venture of Qualcomm and Loral Corporation.
While still at Qualcomm, Jacobs and other members of the XCOM Labs team contributed to the development of Globalstar’s original system.
“We have deep respect and familiarity developed from a close working relationship with the XCOM team over the last 20 years,” said Globalstar Executive Chairman Jay Monroe. “We expect that Paul’s leadership, combined with this licensing agreement, will boost Globalstar’s ability to unlock the value of our global satellite and terrestrial assets and accelerate the introduction of new and innovative solutions for our customers, with the continued goal of driving long-term shareholder value.”
Globalstar first tapped XCOM Labs for a strategic alliance in 2021 to utilize XCOM’s technologies to add capacity to Globalstar’s mid-band spectrum to better serve its 5G New Radio offerings and commercialize specific terrestrial Band n53 networks in dense traffic environments such as arenas, airports, multi-tenant buildings and industrial applications.
Tech Industry Leader
Helming Globalstar will mark Jacobs’ return to leading a publicly traded company. The son of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs successfully led his father’s company from 2005 to 2014 as CEO, growing the company’s revenues from $5.7 billion to $25.7 billion.
He served as Qualcomm’s executive chairman until 2018, when he was removed from the board of directors after a failed attempt to buyout the company and return it to private ownership.
Jacobs then went on to form XCOM Labs along with other Qualcomm veterans Grob and XCOM President and Chief Operating Officer Derek Aberle. Besides its work in getting more capacity of wireless frequency bands for satellite communications companies like Globalstar, XCOM Labs is a pioneer in the extended reality space, supplying virtual reality goggles and headsets the wireless speed they need to deliver cinematic-quality virtual reality with near-zero latency, which allows users to move their heads around and experience the virtual world with almost no delay.
Although, the Globalstar stated that employees of XCOM’s extended reality connectivity technology will not be impacted by the licensing agreement, the landing page on the company’s website has been replaced with a link to the Globalstar announcement and a message inviting people to “explore the fusion of cutting-edge wireless infrastructure and captivating extended reality experiences” at a website “coming soon.”
CEO: Paul Jacobs
Business: Wireless technology for virtual and augmented reality applications
Headquarters: San Diego
Notable: In addition to leading XCOM Labs and Globalstar, Paul Jacobs is also an owner and vice chairman of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA
CEO: Paul Jacobs
Business: Satellite communications company
Headquarters: Covington, Louisiana
Stock: GSAT (NYSE)
Revenue: $148.5 million (FY 2022)
Notable: Globalstar began as a joint venture of Qualcomm and Loral Corporation