Qualcomm’s board received tepid shareholder backing at its AGM, with the majority of members – including CEO Steven Mollenkopf (pictured) – reportedly receiving less than 50 per cent of the re-election vote.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) placed the level of support for six members of the ten-member board at between 40 per cent and 50 per cent, cranking-up pressure on a team besieged with criticism during a recent failed takeover bid by Broadcom.
Weak backing for the executive team follows a tough year for Qualcomm even outside of Broadcom’s bid. It faced continued delays to its proposed NXP Semiconductors acquisition and is in the midst of a bitter row with Apple over patents, licensing and IP.
Prior to the shareholder vote, adviser company Institutional Shareholder Services recommended placing protest votes for six Broadcom nominees, despite its slate being withdrawn from the election when it became clear an acquisition of Qualcomm would not pass through US regulators.
Last week, Qualcomm confirmed former CEO Paul Jacobs would not stand for re-election to the company board after it emerged he was mulling a proposal to takeover the company, a move Financial Times attributed to dissatisfaction over the handling of Broadcom’s offer.
At its AGM, Qualcomm also announced it had again extended the offer period for NXP Semiconductors shares until 2 April, in an apparent bid to retain shareholder support amid continued regulatory delays. The deal – first agreed in October 2016 – is awaiting clearance from Chinese authorities, having already been given the green light in other regions.
In a statement, Qualcomm said 15 per cent of outstanding NXP shares had been tendered by investors by 23 March, a drop from the 19 per cent which had been tendered at 8 March.