Irwin Jacobs is the business leader best known for his contributions to the world of wireless technology communications.
As chairman of Qualcomm, he developed CDMA technology and forever changed the history of data and other forms of communication.
Irwin Jacobs – From the Academe to Success in the Corporate World
Jacobs left the academe to enter the corporate world. In the process, he pioneered wireless technology in the United States and became chairman of Qualcomm.
Jacobs graduated with an engineering course from Cornell University and then earned subsequent degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked as an assistant and associate professor at MIT and then became a professor at the University of California, San Diego. He was even the co-author of a textbook that is still used today, Principles of Communication Engineering.
From his experience in the academe, he formed the Linkabit Corporation with Andrew Viterbi. Later on, he co-founded Qualcomm. From a few part-time employees in Linkabit, Qualcomm grew to more than a thousand employees under his stewardship. It became known in the communications industry because it was able to replace existing TDMA technology with CDMA technology.
As chairman of Qualcomm, Jacobs was instrumental in the development of advanced technology for wireless communication. CDMA, which stands for Code Division Multiple Access, is satellite-based. The technology soon became pervasive across the United States and was adopted by many telecommunications operators, including Sprint.
Over the years, he has received awards both for his entrepreneurial spirit and the advancements in technology he helped push. He holds several patents for the technology he introduced due to his background as an electrical engineer.
Jacobs remained CEO until he turned the position over to his son, Paul. Although Jacobs continues to serve on the board of directors of Qualcomm, these days, his son oversees the day-to-day operations of the company.
The Irwin Mark Jacobs Quick Bio
Full name: Irwin Mark Jacobs
Birthdate: October 18, 1933
Birthplace: Bedford, Massachusetts
Key success traits: ingenuity, skillfulness, keeping tuned in to the times
Jacobs and his wife Joan are both very involved in the development of public arts and education and often make contributions to these causes.
In fact, the School of Engineering at the University of California at San Diego is named the Jacobs School of Engineering, in honor of the significant contributions of this business leader to the college.