Why he matters: Qualcomm is the Wintel of wireless -- the company that controls the underlying technology for the device that everyone has to have. In Qualcomm's case, that technology is code division multiple access, or CDMA, and it's become the bedrock of high-speed mobile communications.
Now Jacobs hopes to expand Qualcomm's reach by launching MediaFlo, a national TV network for mobile devices. Verizon and AT&T have signed on as carriers. If the media gambit works, Qualcomm won't just be the Microsoft and Intel of wireless -- it'll be the Fox and NBC too.