Qualcomm Loses Jha to Motorola

Dr. Sanjay Jha has left his position as COO of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) to become the Co-CEO of Motorola Inc. and the CEO of Motorola Mobile Devices, the new handset division. The handset division, which has struggled over the last few years, will be formally spun out of Motorola in the third quarter of 2009. Props to Jha , who has a vision for the future of mobile computing, and who is well respected by many in the industry for his work with engineers and designers. However, the news is grim indeed for Freescale Semiconductor, the former chip division of Motorola.

Freescale has been the top chip supplier for Motorola’s phones, but in recent quarters Freescale has seen its former parent reduce orders due to lackluster handset sales and because of new contracts with chip suppliers that mean Motorola can buy chips from Texas Instruments or Qualcomm. With a former Qualcomm executive leading the handset division, the folks in Austin are likely concerned.

At Qualcomm, Jha will be replaced by three executives. Len Lauer, executive vice president of Qualcomm and group president, has been promoted to chief operating officer, while Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, has been promoted to president of QCT. In addition, Jim Lederer was recently promoted to executive vice president of business planning and finance for QCT.