After nearly four years at the helm of Qualcomm Wireless Business Solutions (QWBS), president Chris Wolfe is retiring from the company and Joan Waltman-- who most recently served as senior vp of engineering, product development and global network services for QWBS—has taken over the lead, effective April 11, 2005.

Waltman has been with the company for 15 years, including as a member of Wolfe’s staff, playing key roles on the strategic and operational levels. Under her engineering and product development leadership, QWBS introduced new offerings for the transportation and logistics market and expanded into new areas such as construction.

“He has been a mentor to me and to many others within this organization. “I’ve had the great opportunity to help develop operating platforms and business strategies for QUALCOMM, and our current strategies will continue going forward,” says Waltman. “We will remain committed to providing the highest value products to our customers.”

“I am leaving the division in great hands,” observes Wolfe. “[Joan has] headed up all our major product initiatives, including new applications for OmniTRACS, the T2 Untethered TrailerTRACS asset management solution, GlobalTRACS, and OmniOne, and also personally led the development of our Las Vegas Network Operations Center backup hub. Before taking over as president of this division, she managed 400 of our 11,000 internationally dispersed employees.

“We are clicking on all cylinders now, and the pace of innovation will only accelerate,” Wolfe adds. “For example, OmniTwo is in lab testing now and will go to alpha testing this summer, beta next year and to the market after that. Our new TrailerTRACS product has a current backlog of about 100,000 units. We’re shipping 4,000 a month now and ramping up to 8,000. Joan is a perfect choice to lead in this fast-paced environment.”

“Innovation takes place on multiple levels,” offers Waltman. “It happens on the platform level where we develop core technologies, and on top of that where we develop new applications that leverage those core technologies. The open platform of OmniTwo, for example, will enable us to also work with third-party suppliers on the application innovation level.”

For Wolfe, this change signals the end of a job he has loved and the start of the next adventure. “ This has been a phenomenal job,” he says. “We accomplished a great deal in the past four years. I am especially proud of our work with FMCSA on homeland security, for instance, and of our new wireless heart monitoring service. Our new hours of service product is also in beta testing now.

Qualcomm has also selected an acting successor for head of engineering and a new leader for the now-combined product development and global network services groups, according to Waltman. The names will be announced soon.