palmOne CEO Resigns

PalmONE CEO Todd Bradley is stepping down from the position effective at the end of February, the handheld computing company announced Monday.

The current president, Ed Colligan, plans to take the role of interim CEO until a replacement is found. Bradley will stay on in an advisory role until the end of the fiscal year in May and as CEO until the end of the current fiscal quarter ending Feb 25th.

Bradley was the first CEO of PalmONE, which the company created in October of 2003 after Palm split its business into hardware and software companies and acquired then competitor Handspring. He had been with the company since June of 2001 when he was the CEO of the Palm Solutions group and in 2002 the President of Palm Solutions Group.

“Todd has accomplished his mission, and we thank him for the
contributions he made in steady financial improvements, in bringing
innovation to the product roadmap and in pursuing the right strategic
objectives, including the acquisition of Handspring,” Eric Benhamou,
palmOne chairman of the board of directors Benhamou said in a statement.

“The company now is positioned for profitable growth and success. We respect Todd’s desire to move upon completion of this key milestone, and appreciate his willingness to support
the company through the transition to its next CEO.”

Benhamou himself actually resigned as chairman of the PalmSource board of last year but has continued as chairman of PalmOne. Benhamou had served on the boards of both PalmSource)
and PalmOne since the two were created.

Prior to joining palmOne, Bradley’s interim replacement, Ed Colligan was
the president and CEO of Handspring Inc. Upon the acquisition by palmONE Colligan became vp and gm of the Wireless Business Unit. He has been the president of palmONE since June of 2004. In addition to being the interim CEO of palmOne Colligan according to a company press release is also a candidate for the permanent position.

PalmOne did not finish 2004 as well as it might have hoped. palmOne shares plunged 22
in mid-December 2004 after the company warned that delays by wireless carriers in rolling out the new Treo 650 smartphone would cause quarterly results to fall below estimates.

A pair of late 2004 studies showed that for the first time Microsoft OS based handhelds had beat palmOne in handheld shipments. For the third quarter of 2004 Gartner group found that Palm OS shipments declined by 28 percent, and its market share fell from 46.9 percent in 3Q03 to 29.8 in 3Q04.

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