Analysis, Business, Mobile Computing, VR World

Qualcomm's Bill Davidson Goes to Globalfoundries

GlobalFoundries GlobalFoundries

One of Qualcomm’s most senior and pivotal employees has been snatched up by the fab company Globalfoundries after spending 12 years with the company.

Bill Davidson has been a investor relations and global marketing executive at Qualcomm for the past seven years, last assuming the role of SVP of Qualcomm Investor Relations, SVP of Strategy and Operations for Global Market Devlepment-QTI. QTI is Qualcomm’s biggest business unit, accounting for almost all of the company’s non-licensing revenues and profit.

Davidson has been one of the pivotal figures inside Qualcomm over the past 12 years at the company, and his departure surely comes as a surprise to many. But, his knowledge and expertise in the areas of investor relations, operations and marketing will be invaluable at a company like Globalfoundries that is still looking to find a firm footing. While Davidson will not be taking the role of CEO at Globalfoundries, which was recently filled this year by Sanjay Jha, he will be assuming the position of Chief Administrative Officer. In his new role he is responsible for Global Marketing, Communications, Government Affairs, Human Resources, Real Estate, Facilities and Compliance.

Considering his experience in the past, this position is a great one for him to take and will finally put him in the C-level executive territory which anyone in his position would strive for. While it’s not likely his departure is indicative of any larger trends of executives leaving Qualcomm, there is still reason to pay attention to both companies to see where their execs are coming and going. Globalfoundries has had a history of hiring very experienced and knowledgeable people, but it hasn’t always worked out for them.

This is their second major C-level executive from the mobile industry, as their current CEO Sanjay Jha was formerly Motorola’s CEO and Bill Davidson comes from Qualcomm, a company born and bred from mobile. As such, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to suggest that Globalfoundries’ focus may be turning towards mobile and they may work harder to develop more processes to satisfy potential new customers or expanding current ones.

Shareholders are likely to hope that this time Globalfoundries’ CEO will be able to steer the company in a more stable direction where they can be feared among the likes of Samsung and TSMC. There is no doubt that Globalfoundries is a world class fab and foundry, but they have had a fairly spotty past which has cast doubt upon their future every time, and the short tenure of Ajit Manocha doesn’t help that (three years as CEO). But even so, Globalfoundries is still growing and expanding and it is still rumored to be in talks with IBM to take over its Fishkill foundry. Globalfoundries has also been responsible for nearly 2,400 jobs being created in the upstate New York area, economically driving that part of New York state through the recession.

While it remains to be seen how its new 14nm FINFET technology will work out (and who will be customers), there is no doubt that Globalfoundries have made a good choice in bringing Davidson on board.