(Bloomberg) -- Arm Ltd., the chip division of SoftBank Group Corp., has added former Qualcomm Inc. Chief Executive Officer Paul Jacobs and ex-Intel Corp. executive Rose Schooler to its board as the business heads toward an initial public offering.
The executives will help Arm prepare for the IPO by providing experience handling strategy at publicly held firms, according to a statement from the company Wednesday. Arm’s other directors include SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and iPhone pioneer Tony Fadell.
Schooler was most recently head of sales for the server chip division at Intel, a company that still dominates this lucrative area of computing. Jacobs, meanwhile, led Qualcomm for close to a decade, a stretch during which the company became the largest provider of smartphone processors.
SoftBank is looking to take Arm public at a tenuous moment for the $580 billion chip industry. A slowdown in tech spending and and the US-China trade dispute are threatening sales, causing stock prices to slide this year. Arm also is waging a legal fight with Jacobs’s old company, Qualcomm, over technology licenses.
Arm’s technology and chip designs are pervasive in modern electronics, particular phones. Its customer list includes Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and many of the world’s other big tech companies. CEO Rene Haas is tasked with trying to spread that reach into computers and the emerging market for silicon needed to run self-driving vehicles.
Becoming a public company will bring greater scrutiny to Arm and require more focus, Jacobs said in an interview.
“It pushes you too -- it sharpens your sword,” said Jacobs, who declined to comment on Arm’s dispute with Qualcomm. “The key thing for me is Arm is in this position because they have a broad set of customers.”
Schooler, who worked at Intel for more than 30 years, was until recently an Arm adversary. Part of her job was persuading customers not to switch to the company’s chip technology.
Now she’s looking forward to helping Arm push into new markets, just as she did earlier in her career at Intel.
“I’ve spent the majority of my life in semiconductors playing offense and it’s great to be playing offense again,” she said in an interview. “My role is not to be an operational leader but a strategic adviser to a company that has tremendous growth opportunities ahead of them.”
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