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Arizona State University Tech Pioneer Honored

Arizona State University Honors Tech Pioneer As Executive Of The Year

On April 19, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm Incorporated, will be honored by Arizona State University for his incredible accomplishments that vaulted us all forward in the technology we use to communicate.

Qualcomm is a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services. The company’s portfolio includes thousands of U.S. and international patents on many of the most important inventions and innovations in wireless and related technologies.

“We’re proud to honor Dr. Jacobs for his amazing achievements that link us together through technology and communication,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “He is a visionary, who was a key player in satellite communications as far back as the 1960s, but his greatest impact began when he met with colleagues in his den in the 1980s to talk about forming a new company. Today, that company, Qualcomm, is one of the greatest American technology stories — and a publicly traded, Fortune 500 firm.”

Jacobs will become the 29th Executive of the Year chosen annually by the Dean’s Council of 100, a national group of prominent executives who advise the W. P. Carey School of Business. At the awards luncheon, he’ll speak to a Valley audience about his legacy – moving from a professor to an entrepreneur and greatly influencing a world that now has more than 6 billion cellular connections.

In addition to his immense success at Qualcomm, where Jacobs served as chairman and chief executive officer for 20 years, he is also known for his generous contributions to education, the arts and the environment. He and his wife, Joan, took the “Giving Pledge” — along with billionaires Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others — to give away more than half of their fortune to philanthropy. He has also been involved in global efforts to support small business growth and better health care in emerging economies.

Jacobs taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, San Diego. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, plus honorary degrees from seven other universities. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received many industry, education and business accolades, including the National Medal of Technology, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the Financial Times Lifetime Achievement Award for 25 years in telecommunications, the IEEE and Royal Society of Edinburgh James Clerk Maxwell Award, and the Marconi Society Prize. He currently chairs the National Academy of Engineering and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The event to honor Dr. Irwin Jacobs will be held Thursday, April 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in Scottsdale. The W. P. Carey School of Business Dean’s Council of 100 chose Jacobs to follow previous winners, including Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Inc.; Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company; and Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company.

The event is part of the Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. For more information about the club or to reserve seats, call (480) 965-6568, e-mail dc100exec@asu.edu or visit wpcarey.asu.edu/dc100.