Yesterday, Steve Mollenkopf was rumored as a potential candidate for the Microsoft CEO job and today he is indeed becoming the CEO-elect of a major tech company — only it's Qualcomm, his current employer. With almost 20 years at the giant chipmaker, the last of which were spent as chief operating officer, Mollenkopf will step up to the position of Qualcomm CEO from March 4th next year. Incumbent leader Paul Jacobs will remain as executive chairman of the board of directors.

That takes him out of the running for Microsoft's top job

Mollenkopf is joining Qualcomm's board today and will carry on in his role as company president. March 4th marks the date of the company's annual shareholder meeting, after which the CEO transition will be completed. Qualcomm's board approved Mollenkopf's selection unanimously, describing it as "a smooth transition to a proven executive."

Qualcomm is the world's largest wireless chip supplier and Mollenkopf has already played a large part in expanding the company's reach. He has the technical expertise to be intimately familiar with Qualcomm's core business, while his years as COO have seen the company establish a stranglehold on the high-end smartphone processor market.