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Qualcomm’s Aberle to Exit by End of 2017

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QCOM’s president leaving by year-end

Qualcomm’s (QCOM) president, Derek Aberle, is leaving the company, ending a 17-year career at the chip giant. Aberle is expected to exit Qualcomm at the end of the year.

Before becoming president of Qualcomm, Aberle was the chief of the company’s licensing division, known simply as QTL. Qualcomm’s other large division is Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (or QCT). QTL is Qualcomm’s most profitable unit, while QCT is the largest revenue contributor.

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Apple shakes Qualcomm’s bottom line

QTL is the part of Qualcomm that is engaged in a legal battle with Apple (AAPL) over royalties and patents. Qualcomm and Apple have sued and countersued each other, and the effects are starting to hurt Qualcomm.

For fiscal 3Q17 (June 2017 quarter), Qualcomm said that its adjusted EPS (earnings per share) fell 28% year-over-year, a consequence of a 51% decline in profits in its most profitable unit—the QTL division. The chart above provides a snapshot of Qualcomm’s fiscal 3Q17 results. Apple has withheld royalty payments to Qualcomm while the companies battle it out in court.

Qualcomm fails to block foreign Apple lawsuits

According to the Financial Times, Aberle is the Qualcomm executive most closely associated with the company’s ongoing legal battle with Apple. Although Aberle has a few more months at Qualcomm before he leaves, it’s unclear what effect his exit would have on the ongoing legal struggles between Qualcomm and Apple—one of its most important clients.

Qualcomm unsuccessfully tried to block lawsuits brought against it by Apple in foreign countries such as the UK (EWU), Japan (EWJ), and China (MCHI).

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