Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf recently opened up about how his company is coping with the coronavirus pandemic in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune. The executive discussed COVID-19’s impact on his firm’s operations and noted that its workforce has increased in size during the crisis. He also offered his thoughts on the U.S. 5G rollout and the future of the Western smartphone market.
Qualcomm and the Coronavirus Pandemic
Although Mollenkopf didn’t talk about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected his firm’s sales, his company hasn’t made any layoffs. Indeed, the CEO said his company has added to its headcount during the outbreak. He also expressed a positive outlook on his firm’s prospects in the post-COVID-19 world.
“We are very excited about the future,” explained Mollenkopf. “We just have to get through this period of time.”
The executive also said Qualcomm hadn’t had major problems transitioning much of its workforce to work from home staffers. He noted that because the San Diego-based chipmaker operates facilities in Asia, Europe, and the United States, it already had a robust telecommunications infrastructure in place before the coronavirus crisis occurred.
Mollenkopf also detailed Qualcomm’s efforts to provide aid to those affected by the pandemic. The firm donated $1 million to the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund. He also said the chipmaker gave 3,500 laptops to “underserved communities” in Southern California, and is working to provide relief in China, Italy, and India through its charitable foundation.
5G Rollout and Post-Pandemic U.S. Handset Market
Mollenkopf gave an interesting response when asked if the coronavirus pandemic would delay the rollout of America’s 5G infrastructure. “We are actually seeing people put their foot on the gas more than actually take their foot off the gas,” said the executive. He mentioned U.S. telecommunication companies want new high-bandwidth mobile data networks capable of handling the increased bandwidth consumption they’ve seen as a result of the outbreak.
Like Marvell CEO Matt Murphy, Mollenkopf express support for the U.S. government’s funding national data infrastructure improvements
Qualcomm’s chief executive also weighed in on the status of the European and U.S. smartphone markets. Mollenkopf said COVID-19 likely had a significant impact on demand in the two regions, and a recovery timeline is hard to forecast right now. However, he also noted in China, local demand for handsets plummeted in February but returned to normal within five weeks.
The CEO explained Qualcomm’s focus is on ensuring it can meet its vendors’ needs once conditions improve.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought a staggering amount of disruption to the semiconductor industry. However, with leaders like Steven Mollenkopf at the helm, the field will likely mount a quick and fulsome recovery.