PalmOne Names CEO

The board of directors at handheld device manufacturer palmOne made Ed Colligan’s tenure as CEO permanent Monday.

Colligan had served as president of the Milpitas, Calif., company since June 2004 before he was named interim CEO following the resignation of Todd Bradley, palmOne’s first CEO after the company split its hardware and software operations in October 2003.

Ed Colligan

Ed Colligan
Source: palmOne

Eric Benhamou, palmOne chairman of the board, said directors conducted a comprehensive search for external candidates to fill the CEO role before deciding to keep the one already in place.

“Ed has been a driving force for innovation in mobile computing,” he said in a statement. “Ed has secured the confidence of the board, our customers, suppliers and employees, and we believe we have chosen the right leader for palmOne.”

Officials were not available at press time for comment on who would step into Colligan’s shoes as president.

The Palm PDA enjoys a strong market position compared to its competitors, and is expected to retain its second-place position in the marketplace in the first quarter of 2005, according to recent statistics by research firm Gartner.

Gartner, however, reported the company saw a slump in worldwide sales of PDA units, mostly at the expense of competitor Canadian-based RIM .

According to its estimates, palmOne shipments dropped 26.3 percent from the first quarter of 2004 to the first quarter of 2005, from 834,591 to 614,750. RIM, on the other hand, saw unit sales increase 75.6 percent, from 405,000 to 711,000 in the same timeframe. Researchers said palmOne’s market share, 18 percent, is the lowest the company has been at since it entered the market in 1996.

“PalmOne has an excellent opportunity to become the world’s most significant mobile computing company, and I am honored and thrilled to be chosen to lead it,” Colligan said in a statement Monday. “The industry is young and full of promise, and I’m confident we have the products, partners and talent to extend our leadership.”

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