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January 23, 2015

Qualcomm attempts to keep talent with $95m stock grants

The chip maker gives top execs stock grants to stop rival firms poaching staff.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Qualcomm says it awarded $95m worth of special stock grants to its two top executives last year, following attempts by rival firms to snap up its senior execs.

In a proxy statement filed yesterday, the San Diego-based chip maker said its CEO Steve Mollenkopf received "front-loaded" restricted shares worth $30m over five years, or $6m a year. He also received extra restricted stock units, valued at $20 million, during the same period.

Qualcomm’s executive chairman and former CEO, Paul Jacobs, was also awarded restricted stock grants worth $45m over five years, or $9 million annually, according to the filing.

"Several members of Qualcomm’s senior management team were aggressively targeted by peer companies’ recruiting efforts, some of which were publicly discussed in the business press," the company said in the filing.

"As a result, Qualcomm lost several senior-level employees to other companies."

In December 2014, Qualcomm confirmed plans to invest $40m in four Chinese firms, as part of the company’s $150m strategic China venture funding scheme.

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