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8/12/2010
12:26 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Who Is Left At Palm?

Since the announcement in April that HP would be buying Palm, there has been significant brain drain of the mobile tech company. When you buy a company primarily for the intellectual property, it sometimes helps to retain the intellect that created it in the first place.

Since the announcement in April that HP would be buying Palm, there has been significant brain drain of the mobile tech company. When you buy a company primarily for the intellectual property, it sometimes helps to retain the intellect that created it in the first place.

  • April 16, 2010 - Palm announced that Michael R. Abbot, Sr. VP of Software and Services resigned. He left to join Twitter. That same filing announced the creation of a retention program for key employees and officers.
  • July 16, 2010 - Mike Bell, Sr. VP of Product development leaves to join Intel
  • Katie Mitic, Sr. VP of Product Marketing is rumored to have left, though her LinkedIn profile shows she is still there.
  • Jeff Zwerner, VP of Brand Design, is also rumored to have left.
  • August 10, 2010 - Peter Skillman, VP of Design and the one responsible for the Pre leaves.

Of those that are probably left are Jeff Devine, who was Palm's Sr. VP of Global Operations and Doug Jeffries, Palm's CFO. As Palm InfoCenter notes though, Palm has removed the bio page for the Palm team, so it is hard to know who really is and isn't there beyond those we have hard evidence for.

Jon Rubinstein, Palm's CEO, is still there, which may be a good thing as HP's own CEO, Mark Hurd, recently resigned amid a sex scandal. The latter should come as good news to Palm smartphone fans as Hurd is the one that said "We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business" only to have it later "clarified" that he meant they didn't want to be only in the smartphone business.

Is there enough talent from Palm to keep WebOS alive as we currently know it, or will HP simply absorb the division into its own operations effectively diluting the Palm brand? If they do that, the consumer interest will vanish. It will be just another embedded OS that a company uses for its hardware.

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