Cristiano Amon is the New CEO of Qualcomm
by Daniel Newman | July 8, 2021

The Six Five team talks about the new CEO of Qualcomm, Cristiano Amon, a recent speaker on the Six Five Summit.

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Patrick Moorhead: But, let’s go to the next topic, Daniel. Also in chip talkery, new Qualcomm CEO, Cristiano Amon took the scepter yesterday. He has been CEO elect for a while. He’s been president of Qualcomm for a long, long while. We just had him at the Six Five Summit. Daniel, what’s your take?

Daniel Newman: Yeah, I mean this, Pat, is probably one of our quicker hit topics, but it was something that we’ve been long awaiting to be memorialized. Steve Mollenkopf did a very good job, helped Qualcomm navigate some really murky waters for a number of years in regulatory. A long and difficult lawsuit with Apple ongoing and continuous challenges to its licensing model dealing with the FTC. But, over the last year, year and a half, the company has had some pretty good results in a number of these legal cases. Steve felt that it was the right time, as you suggested, to hand over the scepter. Cristiano from the QCT and on the technology and product side has really been actively the face of the company for countless years, whether that’s been Snapdragon Summit or the press. Whether that’s been Mobile World Congress, Cristiano was the person we’ve been seeing oftentimes in the press in the interviews in the media.

He’s very active, very product driven. I think the moment in time to turn directionally from the company that’s kind of constantly navigating these legal challenges to a company that’s building, innovating and really focusing on that more is the reason. And, of course, I have to imagine Steve was … he did a great job. You saw, I think the share price almost tripled at its peak coming out of some very scary moments during its Apple litigation. The company’s in a very good position, has the right alignments Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or finds itself in most of the world’s premium devices. And they’re also by the way, innovating in all kinds of new adjacencies. Whether that’s been RF front end, whether that’s been automotive, IOT and Cristiano’s really been a key advocate for that. So, Pat, like I said, I will make this one pretty quick.

I’m really interested; first of all, congratulations, Cristiano. It’s been great. We’ve had you here on the cast a few times. We had you at our summit. We expect and hope that you will come back and you will continue to talk to us now that you’re officially memorialized as CEO. We’ll be even more excited to have you here, but I’m interested in seeing the direction of the company. I’m interested in seeing what sort of different feel the company gives off in the press and the media with its upcoming announcements. But I expect a successful tenure from someone who’s been very well primed to take this role.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. A couple of things to keep in mind I think here are that Cristiano was part of the go-forward strategy and the expansion. So I’m not expecting like these, “I’m the new CEO and we’re going to get into making water bottles,” right? Or something dramatically different. Cristiano was the guy on stage talking about the expansion into automotive, talking O-Ran and the Edge, AI inference at the data center and at the Edge. And a lot of the RF portions of the business where Qualcomm is now the number one smartphone RF vendor, which is like, oh my gosh, that happened quickly. Not to mention their billion dollar quarter IOT business that it’s funny when you look at companies like Synaptics and some pure plays and they’re larger than many of those companies.

So, I’m looking forward to it. He does have an absolutely different style and I’m always fascinated to see how companies react to it. I think there will be some people who will leave that don’t like that style and it will attract other people that absolutely love that style. Cristiano, I think of something that would characterize him after getting to know him so well, it’s like he’s a pirate, right? He is literally at the helm. I love the words you use because he is literally on the pirate ship and I am super excited to see some of the incremental moves that he’s going to make. He’s super passionate about the PC space as well. And you know what? We need more competition in the PC space, right? AMD plus Intel is 99.9% market share. And we need some changes there because most healthy markets have three people in there.
So anyways, great comments.

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio