Three former Qualcomm executives, including the company’s former Chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs, are launching a new wireless tech startup called XCOM. The company’s website says its goal is to keep inventing and investing in wireless.
Jacobs will serve as chairman and CEO of the startup. Derek Aberle, formerly the president of Qualcomm, will serve as president and COO, and Matt Grob, who previously was the CTO of Qualcomm, will be CTO of the new firm.
In an interview with CNBC, Aberle said that the startup will tackle some of the challenges surrounding 5G, including low latency and reliability, but he added that the firm is still in its early stages and has yet to figure out all the details of its business model.
One thing that is clear however, is that the startup wants to focus on engineering innovation, an area that the founders believe is lacking in the industry. Many large wireless firms like Qualcomm and Ericsson are under increasing pressure to manage their costs. Qualcomm earlier this year laid off 1,500 workers in California as part of the firm’s promise to shareholders to reduce annual costs by $1 billion and avoid a hostile takeover by Broadcom.
XCOM is looking to fill three engineering jobs, and the website says it wants engineers that are committed to helping the company “invent the future of wireless technologies.”
However, Jacobs’ decision to launch XCOM doesn’t mean he’s not still pursuing a plan to acquire Qualcomm and take the company private. Aberle said that he and Jacobs are still working on that but said XCOM is a complementary effort.
Nevertheless, Jacobs was not happy about being removed from the board of the company his father Irwin Jacobs co-founded. And in April it was reported that Jacobs was trying to assemble a group of buyers to take Qualcomm private, an effort that many believe to be a longshot because Qualcomm is currently valued at around $90 billion.