Interview with Qualcomm's CFO

Q&A with Akash Palkhiwala, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Qualcomm Incorporated
Mar 22, 2021 9:00 AM ET

How did our Chief Financial Officer get involved in the world of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)? 

In my role as a member of our Executive Committee, I lead multiple organizations within Qualcomm including, global finance, accounting and tax, information technology (IT) and global facilities. Over the past year, Qualcomm has seen a growing interest from employees, customers, investors, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in ESG. We recognize that robust ESG initiatives are an important aspect of our Company’s performance.

To that end, I have been tasked with leading our ESG efforts. We have integrated ESG into our Corporate Responsibility governance structure, including our Leadership Committee, which is our cross-functional team providing strategic oversight on corporate responsibility matters, and which reports to our Board of Directors on a regular basis.

What do you see as the most important aspects of ESG reporting?

As the world’s leading wireless technology innovator, I think it is important to focus reporting on ESG issues that are material to our business and industry. It is also important to disclose information regularly and in alignment with international standards and frameworks, especially those that pertain to your sector and stakeholder interests.

What ESG programs are you most proud of at Qualcomm?

I am very proud of Qualcomm’s role in the transition towards greater sustainable development and social wellbeing across the globe. We believe 5G is one of the most important technological developments of the 21st century because of its potential to drive economic growth, transform entire industries, and change the way we live, work, and relate to each other.

I am also very proud of our Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ initiative, which invests in sustainable programs that demonstrate innovative uses of our technology, helping over 20 million people across the globe.

What are your ESG priorities for the year ahead?

In the year ahead, we will start working toward achieving our newly launched 2025 corporate responsibility targets, prioritizing environment, diversity and inclusion, and reporting. We will, for example, continue to address and improve our environmental performance through greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies and work to build a more diverse workforce using training, development, and recruitment as key tools.

Additionally, we will continue to respond to the needs and expectations of our stakeholders through direct engagement and reporting.

To learn more about Qualcomm’s 2025 goals and ESG performance in 2020, access the full report here.