Best Places spotlight: Qualcomm keeps it interesting with cutting-edge tech

The No. 8-ranked company on our 2013 Best Places to Work in IT list also isn't shy about recognizing standout employees.

For Jeff Tepfer, working at a big high-tech company like Qualcomm has outsized advantages, including opportunities to work abroad. "Working on-site in India, China, Taiwan and other locations has been a great experience," he says.

IT staffers at Qualcomm
IT staffers Gino Coladonato, Jeffrey Tepfer and Zeeshan Sabir. Credit: Qualcomm.

As a senior IT architect, he's exposed to state-of-the-art technologies through his involvement in a project to build a 1.8-megawatt modular data center at Qualcomm's headquarters in San Diego. "Things are never boring or routine," he says.

Qualcomm has plenty of ways to recognize its IT professionals, including awards ranging from gift certificates to international vacation packages. Tepfer was a recent recipient of the annual IT Innovation Award, receiving $10,000 for his work to increase the energy efficiency of Qualcomm's data center.

IT is respected and works well with the business divisions, says Brian Baker, vice president of IT. He describes Qualcomm CIO Norm Fjeldheim as "interactive, candid" and says he has "a good sense of humor during the tough times." To foster open communication, Fjeldheim hosts regular "Nosh with Norm" lunches with small groups of IT staffers.

The company pays 100% of health insurance premiums for employees and offers some unique perks, including on-site medical offices.

Next: Spotlight: No. 11-ranked NRECA focuses on career development

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