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Globalstar Names Former Qualcomm Exec Paul Jacobs as CEO 

By Rachel Jewett | August 29, 2023
      Paul Jacobs is joining Globalstar as CEO. Photo: XCOM

      Paul Jacobs is joining Globalstar as CEO. Photo: XCOM

      Former Qualcomm CEO and XCOM Labs founder Paul Jacobs is joining Globalstar as CEO, as Globalstar announced Tuesday that CEO David Kagan is retiring. The move is part of a larger shakeup at Globalstar, a number of XCOM executives will take senior leadership positions. 

      Jacobs was the CEO of Qualcomm from July 2005 to March 2014, and he is the son of one of the co-founders of the company. After he was CEO he was chairman of Qualcomm’s board, then left the board in 2018. Jacobs wanted to take Qualcomm private in 2018, but a deal did not pan out. 

      Globalstar is also entering into a perpetual licensing agreement for exclusive access to some XCOM technologies and personnel — including technologies for wireless spectrum like XCOMP, a multipoint radio system. Globalstar now has exclusive access to XCOM’s peer-to-peer connectivity technologies that it says could have applications across cellular and satellite devices.

      The upfront licensing fee and related costs will be approximately 60 million shares of Globalstar common stock.

      XCOM CTO Matt Grob is joining Globalstar, along with its Chief Scientist Peter Black. In addition, Tamer Kadous, vice president of Wireless, and Daaman Hejmadi, vice president of Engineering, will join Globalstar as well. 

      “Bringing together Globalstar’s terrestrial spectrum and relationships with leading partners around the world with XCOM’s differentiated technology, which is well suited for high-performance applications, creates a significant opportunity to deliver for private network customers with mission-critical needs,” Jacobs commented. “At the same time, Globalstar’s continued innovations in satellite connectivity are just as exciting, particularly in small form-factor devices.” 

      Globalstar Executive Chairman Jay Monroe pointed out that some of XCOM’s leaders contributed to the original Globalstar system while at Qualcomm. 

      Monroe pitched the changes as part of the convergence of terrestrial and satellite solutions. 

      “Our partnerships with world-class customers, including our pioneering work in direct to device connectivity from our satellites, as well as our collaborations with Qualcomm, Nokia and others with Band n53, demonstrate the strength of Globalstar’s momentum and growing commercial solutions. We expect that Paul’s leadership, combined with this licensing agreement, will boost Globalstar’s ability to unlock the value of our global satellite and terrestrial assets,” Monroe commented. 

      Globalstar, a once-sleepy satellite operator, got a huge boost last year when it was confirmed as the satellite partner for Apple’s satellite direct-to-cell emergency messaging service. Globalstar ordered 17 new satellites from MDA to upgrade its SPOT Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation to support Apple. 

      The Apple deal is paying off, Globalstar’s revenue was up more than 60% to $113 million in the first half of 2023. Then-CEO Kagan told investors in August he thought the company’s stock was undervalued, trading around $1. 

      Globalstar is planning to launch a new two-way device platform and services later this year, and is targeting growth in commercializing its Band 53 spectrum for public and private wireless deployments.