Former Qualcomm chairman speaks about rejection of takeover bid

LA JOLLA, Calif. – Qualcomm co-founder and former chairman and CEO Irwin Jacobs spoke Wednesday about the company's rejection of a multi-billion dollar buyout offer.

This week, Qualcomm turned down a more than $100 billion unsolicited takeover bid from Malaysia-based company Broadcom.

FOX 5 caught up with Jacobs before he spoke at the University of California, San Diego for the 50th anniversary of John Muir College, of which he is a founding faculty member.

“I think that in reviewing it and the current situation, I think the board made the right decision to reject that offer,” said Jacobs.

The deal, had it gone through, would have been the biggest technology deal ever.

At its core, Qualcomm continues to power the cellphone revolution with its semiconductor technology. The company pioneered 3G and 4G technology, and Jacobs said the company has so much more potential since it’s already leading the transition to 5G. It’s also working on other technology to be integrated into cars and even drones.

“There’s a huge future in this area for Qualcomm the way it’s pursuing it,” said Jacobs. “You get lots of capability there which opens up the possibilities of new product areas.”

Qualcomm employs around 13,000 people, some of San Diego’s highest paid workers. Jacobs said even if Broadcom took over, he does not see much change for the employees.

“If everybody keeps contributing the way they have over the last several years...then we’ll be in good shape one way or another,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs said his hope is for Qualcomm to remain independent, but should Broadcom strike a deal, he said it’s not necessarily a loss for San Diego.

“Hopefully the whole region will continue to benefit from both Broadcom and from Qualcomm,” said Jacobs.

Broadcom has announced it will continue to work towards another offer. In an appearance with President Donald Trump, the company’s owner Hock Tan also announced there are plans to relocate the international headquarters to the U.S.