WSJ: Why Apple's Cook and Qualcomm's Mollenkopf hate each other

Philip Elmer-DeWitt

Both CEOs are expected to take the stand in Apple v. Qualcomm. Opening arguments Tuesday.


From Apple and Qualcomm’s Billion-Dollar Staredown ($) in the Wall Street Journal:

Messrs. Cook and Mollenkopf are so entrenched in their competing positions—and have so little personal connection—that Apple’s top executives have said they don’t think it’s possible to cut a deal with Qualcomm while Mr. Mollenkopf is CEO, a person familiar with their thinking said. “It’s personal. I don’t see anybody who can bridge this gap,” this person said…

[Steve] Mollenkopf, who was born in Baltimore, is a military buff who interned for the Central Intelligence Agency before joining Qualcomm. He has often made decisions after consulting individually with his top lieutenants, but many have left over the years, leaving him isolated and reliant on counsel from outside advisers.

[Tim] Cook, an Alabama native, is an operations whiz who works to build consensus among Apple’s top-dozen leaders, often asking them, “What is the right thing to do?” The group-decision approach has resulted in a team of enforcers who defend Mr. Cook’s view that Qualcomm’s licensing practices—taking a 5% share of most of the sales price of an iPhone—was just plain wrong, allowing the chip maker to profit off Apple innovations in display and camera technology…

A jury could determine who is the real victim: Qualcomm, which claims Apple is violating its patents by withholding royalties, or Apple, which argues Qualcomm has been overcharging for those patents for years. At stake is the future of Qualcomm’s licensing model and billions of dollars in royalties that Apple will pay or keep.

My take: Getting out the popcorn.

BTW, I got this article my email early Saturday because I pay for a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. When I searched for it on Apple News+, for which I also pay, it wasn’t there. Just sayin’.