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Daily Business Report-March 17, 2014

Daily Business Report-March 17, 2014

Duane Roth, who died Aug. 3 last year, was a biotech pioneer.

Award Named After Biotech Pioneeer Duane Roth

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. has created an award named after the late biotech executive Duane Roth, who died from injuries suffered in a bicycle accident.

The inaugural Duane Roth Renaissance Award will go to Qualcomm Inc. at the EDC’s annual dinner on May 13.

The award recognizes an organization for creating outstanding inventions, innovations or breakthroughs that have changed and improved the world, according to the EDC.

Roth founded Alliance Pharmaceutical in 1988 and was CEO of San Diego Connect, which brought together leaders from the region’s high tech and biotech industries. He was considered an inspiring leader of the local innovation industry.

Roth also was on the board of the state agency responsible for stem cell research and had been set to become chairman of the Sanford-Burnham Research Institute’s board of directors. He was a member of the executive board of Lead San Diego, a leadership training organization.

Earlier in his career, he was a senior executive at Johnson & Johnson and Wyeth.

Roth crashed his bicycle July 21 into a rock outcropping near Lake Cuyamaca, with an impact so severe it broke his helmet, authorities said. He died Aug. 3.

La Jolla Art Museum Chooses New York

Architect to Design Museum Expansion

Annabelle Selldorf

Annabelle Selldorf

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) has chosen New York-based architecture firm Selldorf Architects to design an expansion planned for the museum’s La Jolla location, KPBS reports. This would be firm principal Annabelle Selldorf’s first contemporary art museum and her first building on the West Coast.

“She has made more sublime spaces for looking at art than any architect I know of working today,” said Hugh Davies, MCASD’s David C. Copley director and CEO.

Selldorf has designed spaces for some of the largest galleries in New York and London, including David Zwirner, Larry Gagosian and Hauser & Wirth.

Davies said he and the selection committee wanted an architect who could see this as a pivotal project that would take his or her career to the next level.

“We didn’t want to hire an architect like a Frank Gehry, who is terribly well known, because making it an addition and not a whole new building, we probably wouldn’t get Frank’s best attention,” Davies said.

The goal of the expansion is to increase gallery space. The museum has been collecting art since 1941 and owns significant works by Ellsworth Kelly and Andy Warhol, among others, that rarely see the light of day.

The current museum is only 11,000 square feet and most traveling temporary exhibits require at least 8,000 square feet, which doesn’t allow the museum to show much of its permanent collection. The expansion will potentially cover 30,000 square feet and include high ceilings, windows and skylights.

Davies hopes they can break ground in spring of 2016 with completion in 2019 or 2020. The project, estimated to cost $30 million, will be funded almost exclusively with private funds. A five-year fundraising campaign will begin in the fall.

Qualcomm Names Licensing Chief as New President

Qualcomm has named the former head of its technology licensing group as its new president, a move that could serve it well in the wireless industry’s current litigious environment.

Derek Aberle

Derek Aberle

Derek Aberle was a central figure in negotiating license deals for Qualcomm with Samsung, Nokia, Motorola and other mobile players. He also helped to craft the “legal and business strategies” that resolved several of the company’s licensing disputes, according to his biography on Qualcomm’s website.

Aberle reports to Steve Mollenkopf, who became CEO after serving as Qualcomm’s president and chief operating officer.

Aberle’s appointment likely brings to a close the latest executive shuffle at the top of Qualcomm. The changes began in December when rumors surfaced that Mollenkopf was being considered for the CEO job at Microsoft, which eventually went to Satya Nadella.

Qualcomm reacted swiftly to the rumors and named Mollenkopf as its next CEO that same day, replacing Paul Jacobs, who was made executive chairman. Mollenkopf has been seen as critical to Qualcomm’s success in mobile and wireless.

Aberle has been with Qualcomm since 2000. In his new role he’s responsible for overseeing all business divisions, including market development and marketing. He’s also charged with coming up with strategies to diversify and grow the company.

Navy Awards NASSCO $128.5 Million Contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics NASSCO a $128.5 million contract for the detail design and construction of the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) 3 Afloat Forward Staging Base. Under the terms of the contract, NASSCO will provide the detail design and construction efforts to convert the MLP 3 to an AFSB variant. The work will be performed at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard and scheduled to be completed by October 2015.

The MLP AFSB is a flexible platform and a key element in the Navy’s large-scale airborne mine countermeasure mission. The ship is designed to facilitate a wide variety of future missions in support of special operations. It will accommodate 250 personnel and will have a large helicopter flight deck.

UC San Diego English Language Institute Gets High Rating

Best School Award

Best School Award

A Tokyo-based publication aligned with Japan’s largest study-abroad program has ranked UC San Diego’s English Language Institute as No. 2 in the world. The ranking by the Ryugaku Journal is based on a survey of Japanese students who have studied abroad. UC San Diego’s program received two No. 1 rankings in the categories of variety of programs and promised improvement, as well as in environment and city location. It was rated second in the category of teachers and international student services support.

An estimated 11 percent of UC San Diego’s ELI students are Japanese. In 2013, UC San Diego was ranked No. 10 overall.

DJO Global Names Chief Financial Officer

DJO Global Inc., a San Diego medical device company, has named Susan Crawford as the new chief financial officer, effective March 31. Crawford joins the company from Life Technologies Corp., where she was vice president of business transformation, responsible for integrating newly acquired companies and engineering business processes throughout the broader organization. Life Technologies was acquired in February by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Crawford previously served as vice president of corporate finance planning and analysis for Life Technologies. She also held chief financial officer positions at RealNames and PowerTV and was head of investor relations and financial planning at Covad Communications.

SmartDrive Appoints Vice President of Engineering

SmartDrive Systems of San Diego has appointed Andy Deninger vice president of engineering. Deninger will be responsible for spearheading product innovation for SmartDrive’s video-based safety and transportation analytics platform, as well as its application development and firmware quality assurance.

Deninger comes to SmartDrive from Omnitracs LLC, formerly a business unit of Qualcomm Inc., where he led the engineering division and helped build the department’s hardware and software unira. Most recently, Deninger was involved in the design and development of the company’s Mobile Computing Platform (MCP) 50.

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