Qualcomm reorganizes as COO Lauer leaves

Qualcomm is realigning its business units following the resignation of Chief Operating Officer Len Lauer, who is leaving to become CEO of an unnamed company, the wireless technology vendor announced Thursday.

Lauer came to Qualcomm in 2006 from Sprint Nextel, where he was also chief operating officer. He had led Sprint's wireless division before the Sprint-Nextel merger in 2003 and was once president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey. Some observers speculated on Thursday that Lauer would be taking over as CEO of Verizon Communications, going back to his roots in the carrier world. Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg has run the company since it was formed in 2000 through the mergers of several carriers, including Bell Atlantic.

Qualcomm said Lauer's resignation provided an opportunity to reorganize. The Qualcomm MEMS (Microelectromechanical systems) Technologies group will now report to Steve Mollenkopf, who is president of the company's core CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) Technologies group. The MEMS organization is developing the Mirasol display technology for mobile devices, based on micro-electromechanical systems. In close cooperation with the MEMS group, the CDMA unit will work with handset makers to commercialize Mirasol, Qualcomm said.

Mirasol displays can provide good visibility in a variety of conditions, including bright sunlight, while consuming less power than conventional screens, according to Qualcomm. The displays reflect light using the same phenomenon that makes a butterfly's wings shimmer.

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