RealTime IT News

Handspring CFO Resigns

One handheld maker shored up its leadership front while another lost one of its top executives Thursday. Handspring Inc.'s Chief Financial Officer Bern Whitney resigned Thursday for personal reasons.

Whitney's resignation will become effective on July 1, when Handspring completes its fiscal year. In the meantime, the Mountain View, Calif. company retained executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart to find a new CFO.

Handspring Chief Executive Officer and President Donna Dubinsky spoke glowingly about Whitney in a public statement: "He joined Handspring as an early employee, helped guide the company through our initial public offering, put in place the infrastructure needed for a fast moving technology company, and brought strong financial management to our business operations. Bern's involvement with Handspring through the end of this quarter will ensure a smooth transition and support our efforts to launch a number of new products, including three new additions to our Treo communicator product family."

The move comes just hours after cross-town rival Palm Inc. anchored its chief operating officer, Todd Bradley, to the position of president of Palm's hardware division.

Like most hardware makers, Handspring saw its sales dip in 2001. In April, the firm said it is selling fewer Visor handheld computers at lower prices, yielding more than half the sales from a year ago.

For the quarter ended March 30, Handspring lost $23.7 million, or 18 cents a share, on $59.7 million in revenue. A year ago, Handspring lost $27.2 million, or 26 cents per share, on sales of $123.8 million. Analysts surveyed by First Call expected a loss, excluding one-time charges, of 12 cents per share on revenue of $64.6 million, but Handspring lost more -- $19.2 million, or 14 cents per share.