Qualcomm said Friday that Paul Jacobs will not be renominated to the chipmaker’s board of directors at its annual shareholder meeting on March 23.
The company said the decision was made after Jacobs informed the board that he is exploring the possibility of taking the $88 billion company private. But Jacobs said in a statement that the board’s decision to not renominate him is “unfortunate and disappointing.”
The longtime Qualcomm executive said that the chipmaker has “real opportunities” but that perhaps these would be easier to pursue as a private company.
“These opportunities are challenging as a standalone public company, and there are clear merits to exploring a path to take the company private in order to maximize the company’s long-term performance, deliver superior value to all stockholders, and bolster a critical contributor to American technology,” Jacobs said in a statement.
There is no guarantee that Jacobs will ultimately present a formal proposal. But if Jacobs makes a bid, Qualcomm said it would “of course evaluate it consistent with its fiduciary duties to shareholders.”
Sources have told CNBC that Jacobs had previously expressed interest in doing this once before. Jacobs said in a statement that he is glad Qualcomm’s board would be willing to evaluate a proposal, if presented.
The Financial Times first reported Jacobs has approached multiple investors, including Japan’s SoftBank, to get funding for an acquisition bid.
Jacobs, son of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, previously served as CEO as well as executive chairman of Qualcomm’s board.
Last week, he stepped down from his role as executive chairman as the San Diego-based chipmaker resisted an aggressive takeover attempt from Singapore’s Broadcom. That bid was shut down by President Donald Trump earlier this week, amid national security concerns.
— CNBC’s David Faber contributed to this report.