Major Executive Search Taps New CEO for InterDigital Inc.
May 14, 2021 – Major Executive Search has placed Liren Chen as chief executive officer for InterDigital Inc., a leading mobile and video technology research and development company in Wilmington, DE. Founder and CEO Sue Major along with managing director John Rivoir conducted the assignment. Mr. Chen replaces William J. Merritt, who retired this spring after 25 years at the company and nearly 16 years as president and CEO. Mr. Merritt will also step down from the company’s board of directors. Mr. Chen is to be appointed to the InterDigital board as a director. Mr. Merritt has agreed to provide certain consulting services in order to facilitate an orderly transition.
“After a thoughtful and thorough search process, the board of directors determined that Liren Chen’s proven expertise and leadership skills make him the best CEO to lead InterDigital forward,” said S. Douglas Hutcheson, chairman of the board. “Liren’s tenured and successful career at one of the world’s most innovative technology companies speaks for itself. His years of IP licensing, global business expertise, and technical capabilities are a unique combination that aligns perfectly with InterDigital’s opportunities. The board is pleased that he has agreed to take the helm at a time of great opportunity for InterDigital, and we look forward to working with Liren to build on our company’s strong momentum.”
Mr. Chen has more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry with a focus on IP and licensing. Mr. Chen, who was previously senior vice president and global head of IP, legal counsel For Qualcomm, led technology, product management, IP strategy, and global ecosystem development for Qualcomm technology licensing. He oversaw Qualcomm’s worldwide IP (patent, trademark, copyright and open source) portfolio. Mr. Chen has overseen the creation and successful execution of Qualcomm’s technology-driven IP strategy, as well as multiple IP acquisitions and integration.
Mr. Chen has held a number of leadership positions over the course of his career. He is an established IP and technology expert, who has successfully helped Qualcomm defend its business model. Mr. Chen has also held multiple engineering and R&D leadership positions at Qualcomm and worked on multiple wireless communication systems. He holds 28 granted patents in the U.S. and over 120 granted patents worldwide.
Said Mr. Chen: “I have tremendous respect for the InterDigital board and management team and recognize the important role InterDigital has been playing to develop the fundamental technologies that enable 4G and 5G cellular systems and advanced multimedia systems. I am fully committed to building on InterDigital’s track record of success and innovation and continuing to deliver value for all stakeholders.”
Founded in 1972, InterDigital develops fundamental wireless technologies that are at the core of mobile devices, networks and services worldwide. Advanced solutions from InterDigital support the development of more efficient wireless networks, a richer multimedia experience and new mobile broadband capabilities for billions of consumers globally. InterDigital is addressing the wireless bandwidth crunch and network optimization by focusing on three comprehensive areas of bandwidth innovations: spectrum optimization, cross-network connectivity and mobility, and intelligent data delivery techniques. InterDigital has a market cap of $1.8 billion.
Major Executive Search, based in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, is a woman-owned, global retained executive search firm focused on helping technology companies strengthen and grow their executive teams and boards of directors. Founded in 2000, the firm specializes in senior executive and board director recruitment. Its practice includes: big data/analytics, cloud computing, cybersecurity, digital media, energy management, internet of things (IoT), manufacturing, semiconductor, software applications, telecommunications, wireless healthcare solutions and wireless mobility solution.
Ms. Major has spent more than a decade establishing Major Executive Search as a leading boutique firm, placing hundreds of executives for Fortune 500 global and mid-sized organizations, as well as venture capital and private equity-funded companies. She specializes in the wireless, telecom, software and semiconductor sectors, serving Fortune 500 companies to start-ups.. Ms. Major’s experience includes 20-plus years of executive search, including C-level executive placements for public and emerging, pre-IPO corporations. Prior to establishing Major Executive Search, she co-founded Slayton International’s first West Coast headquarters, where she served as a managing director. Her hands-on experience also includes opening San Diego’s first top 10 search office for A.T. Kearney Executive Search.
Mr. Rivoir has more than 25 years of experience conducting executive search for technology clients. He has completed searches in the software, mobile, semiconductor, telecommunications, healthcare technology, Internet, e-commerce and new media sectors. Prior to Major Executive Search, he worked for both large global firms and smaller boutiques, including as a search consultant at A.T. Kearney Executive Search in the firm’s global technology practice, as a partner at Spence Associates International, a premier New York based boutique firm specializing in technology industry search, and as managing partner of his own firm.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media