Qualcomm COO jumps to Motorola

From the Associated Press

Motorola Inc. snagged Sanjay Jha, chief operating officer of Qualcomm Inc. and a star of the wireless industry, to head its handset division as that unit prepares to become an independent company.

Jha will also be co-chief executive of the parent company, sharing the responsibility with incumbent Greg Brown until the spinoff next year. Brown will take responsibility for Motorola’s other two divisions.

Motorola shares rose $1.01, or 11.5%, to $9.82 on Monday.

Jha, 45, has a doctorate in electronic and electrical engineering. In addition to being chief operating officer of San Diego-based Qualcomm, he was president of the Qualcomm division that made chips for cellphones.


Qualcomm shares fell $2.60, or 4.7%, to $52.87.

Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola’s handset division has been posting heavy losses for the last few years. Stu Reed, its last president, left the company in March.

Jha will receive 3.7 million restricted Motorola stock units, worth about $35 million at Monday’s stock price, and options to buy 16.6 million shares. If the spinoff of the handset division is completed, those awards would apply to the new company’s stock, and Jha would receive additional stock and option awards to give him a 3% stake in the company.

If the spinoff does not happen before Oct. 31, 2010, Jha will get $30 million in cash.


At Qualcomm, Executive Vice President Len Lauer, formerly chief operating officer of Sprint Nextel Corp., replaces Jha as COO. Jha’s position as president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies will be filled by the executive vice president of the unit, Steve Mollenkopf.