Two independent directors have been added to the Qualcomm Inc. board, the company said June 27.
Mark Fields, most recently CEO of Ford Motor Co., and Neil Smit, vice chairman of Comcast Corp., bring the number of directors on the tech giant’s board to a dozen.
“Mark and Neil are well-respected in their fields and bring a wealth of experience and critical business knowledge of different industries that are pertinent to Qualcomm,” said Jeffrey Henderson, board chairman. Henderson, who joined the board in 2016, was named chairman in March, replacing Paul Jacobs. “The addition of these directors is part of an ongoing process to ensure our board is refreshed on a regular basis, and that the experience of the board is aligned with the trajectory of the company so that we can maximize stockholder value.”
Fields has extensive experience in the automotive industry, an area in which Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) is eager to expand its presence. The company’s chipsets are already being used in smart cars by major automakers. And its ongoing pursuit of NXP Semiconductors NV is intended to solidify its position as a provider of automotive semiconductors, which are being used in the development of connected and automated vehicles.
Fields headed Ford from 2014 to 2017. Prior, he was the company’s chief operating officer. Earlier in his career he held a number of other leadership positions with the company, which he joined in 1989.
Fields has served on the boards of Ford, IBM, Mazda and four private companies on behalf of TPG Capital.
Smit has experience in technology and in consumer packaged goods. He was CEO of Comcast from 2011 to 2017, and president of the company for a year prior to that. Previously, Smit was CEO of Charter Communications. He also served for a time as president of Time Warner’s America Online Access business, which included oversight of AOL.
Earlier in his career Smit was a regional president with Nabisco and held several management positions at Pillsbury. He served in the U.S. Navy as a member of a SEAL unit for five years and retired from the service as a lieutenant commander. He has served on the boards of CableLabs, C-SPAN and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA).
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