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12/28/2009
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Qualcomm COO Leaves For CEO Job

Industry vet Len Lauer will take the top executive position at an unnamed firm, according to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm chief operating officer, Len J. Lauer, is leaving the mobile semiconductor firm Dec. 31 to take a post as chief executive officer of another firm, according to a Qualcomm Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Qualcomm did not identify Lauer's new firm.

Qualcomm said that the business and functional responsibilities overseen by Lauer would be reassigned to Steven R. Altman, the firm's president, with the exception of Qualcomm's MEMS Technologies. Steven M. Mollenkopf, executive VP and president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, will take over responsibility for the MEMS operation, Qualcomm said.

Lauer, 52, was named COO of Qualcomm after Sanjay Jha left the post to become co-CEO in charge of Motorola's mobile devices unit. Jha has led Motorola's effort to develop handsets based on Google's Android platform.

Lauer is an industry veteran who was serving as chief operating officer at Sprint Nextel immediately before coming to Qualcomm. Earlier in his career he worked at IBM and Bell Atlantic. Qualcomm said Lauer's new position would be announced next year. Lauer was not immediately available for comment.

The mobile phone business has been in a period of dramatic growth in recent months and has also experienced a period of top management turmoil as executives frequently change positions.

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