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Qualcomm’s New General Counsel Gets $8 Million Pay Package (1)

Jan. 20, 2023, 5:02 PMUpdated: Jan. 20, 2023, 8:31 PM

Qualcomm Inc.‘s new general counsel Ann Chaplin earned nearly $8.4 million last year, the company disclosed in an annual proxy filing.

The pay package included $5.5 million in new hire equity awards and a $1.25 million sign-on cash bonus. She also received more than $619,000 in salary and $833,000 in non-equity incentive plan compensation, according to the proxy filing.

Qualcomm hired Chaplin in November 2021 after she spent nearly a half-dozen years in-house at General Motors Co., most recently as deputy general counsel. Qualcomm has expanded into the automotive sector, prevailing in a takeover fight with its $4.5 billion buy in late 2021 of auto technology company Veoneer Inc.

Before she joined GM, Chaplin spent nearly 15 years at Fish & Richardson, where the intellectual property litigator once served as managing partner of the firm’s Minneapolis office and leader of its litigation practice.

Her salary at the semiconductor maker increases to $700,000 this year, according to San Diego-based Qualcomm.

Chaplin’s stock awards and bonus were compensation for “unvested equity she forfeited from her previous employer,” the company said in its Thursday proxy. She received about $86,800 for relocating to San Diego, as well as almost $49,500 in tax gross-up payments and $8,300 for the personal use of company aircraft.

“Since taking over as general counsel, Chaplin assigned additional company resources and made hires in the area of cyber and data security, including creating the role of chief risk and compliance officer,” Qualcomm said in a statement. Kevin Kelly, a former legal counsel, has taken on the newly-created role.

Rosenberg Retirement

Chaplin took over Qualcomm’s top legal role from the company’s longtime legal chief Donald Rosenberg. He retired after US antitrust enforcers abandoned a years-long lawsuit against Qualcomm in 2021.

Securities filings show that Rosenberg sold off more than $12.5 million in Qualcomm stock in the two years prior to his retirement.

IP disputes account for at least 35% of the company’s caseload in US federal courts since 2007, according to Bloomberg Law data.

Within the past five years Jones Day has handled more than 26% of Qualcomm’s cases in those courts. Norton Rose Fulbright, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and Cooley collectively had a role in roughly 27% of such cases during that period.

Qualcomm’s legal group saw two top litigators depart amid Rosenberg’s retirement.

Mark Snyder, a deputy general counsel who had a key role advising on antitrust, litigation, and regulatory matters, last year became general counsel and chief compliance officer for Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. Mark Wadrzyk, a former IP division counsel at Qualcomm, left in November 2021. He’s now a deputy general counsel and head of litigation and IP at Snapchat parent Snap Inc.

Qualcomm said that Christopher Longman was appointed its new head of global litigation, while Robert Giles was promoted to lead the company’s IP department.

(Adds legal department details in paragraphs seven and 12-14.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com