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Old 01-28-2005, 08:19 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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palmOne's house of horror

So now it is Todd Bradley, CEO of palmOne, who is going to leave the company's executive house of horror.

Jun'04: Judy Bruner, former palmOne CFO, left palmOne to join SanDisk Corp.
Jan'05: Angel Mendez, still senior vice president and head of the company's Global Operations, is going to leave palmOne to join Cisco Systems.
Jan'05: Todd Bradley, still palmOne CEO, is going to leave palmOne in May-June '05.

What is going on inside palmOne? While they call it a Leadership Transition, the terms Leadership Leave-Taking seems more appropriate to me.

CEO Todd's leave will cost palmOne and its shareholders dearly, as The Street reveals:

palmOne will give Bradley a severance check for somewhere between $2.4 million and $2.8 million, according to a regulatory document filed on Thursday. Additionally, the company will accelerate the vesting of all of Bradley's restricted stock and an undisclosed portion of his outstanding options when he leaves the company on June 3. [...] Bradley's stock and options holdings could turn out to be another boon for him. As of July, he held some 403,688 options, of which some 215,052 had an average exercise price of $11.20 a share, according to regulatory filings. The company awarded him another 150,000 options in October, according to the filings, but did not disclose the exercise price of those shares. At the time of that grant, the company's stock was trading at about $30 a share. As of last month, Bradley held at least another 31,760 shares of restricted stock.

Just do the math.
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Old 01-28-2005, 03:56 PM   #2
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I'd gladly join the rocky horror picture show if I get the same pay Bradley has received
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:00 PM   #3
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In related news: Ben Combee is moving from PalmSource to PalmOne.
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Old 01-28-2005, 05:27 PM   #4
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There's an interesting editorial at Brighthand: Ship of Palm Looking for a New Captain

It's quite a lengthy read. (Be sure to read both parts.) The author has several good suggestions for PalmOne, two of which many here will agree with: 1) PalmOne should buy back PalmSource 2) PalmOne should bring back the business PDA.
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Old 01-28-2005, 06:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurens
The author has several good suggestions for PalmOne, two of which many here will agree with: 1) PalmOne should buy back PalmSource 2) PalmOne should bring back the business PDA.
Buying back Palmsource would be a really bad decision on their part. The whole reason for the split, was to increase their market penetration in different areas (and Palmsource is committed to this, by diverging into Linux). Buying them back, or merging back together, would dramatically shorten the overall lifespan for both companies.

Also, they may now have contracts on either side with OEMs and partners, which may specifically prohibit using anything from the other company's IP or project/product portfolio.

palmOne makes hardware, period. It just happens to be that their reference platform ships with an OS made by Palmsource. But they might also enter into engagements with Microsoft, for example, to ship PocketPC-based devices, using this same hardware. That puts it directly in conflict with what PalmOS is doing on those devices. Merging back with Palmsource would limit (and probably render contractually impossible) what OS vendors they are allowed to collaborate with.

Palmsource on the other hand, provides software, period. Merging back means they can't provide software for Nokia-based devices for example, or kiosk systems based on the Linux kernel, running PalmOS on top. Or many other markets heretofor unexplored.

I do, however, agree with the second point. I loved my Palm Vx, and there haven't really been any good, rugged, capable, "business PDAs" in the Palm world in a long time.

I've personally owned about 20 different PalmOS models over the years, and the two I've loved the best so far, are my Vx and my Tungsten T2 (though that screaming high-pitch noise that is on all the time on the T2 when it is powered on, is teeth-grindingly-annoying!)

But then again, business-centric customers weren't really wasn't their market, until recently, when they decided to start attacking the Outlook integration head-on.

Having spoken to several Palmsource people high-up in the food chain personally on the phone in the last couple of weeks, I can say with confidence that there are some very interesting projects and goals defined for them for 2005 and beyond.

I'm not giving up the ship yet. More exciting times are ahead.
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Old 01-28-2005, 06:19 PM   #6
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Nevertheless - no matter what palmOnephiles say - I think something is seriously wrong at palmOne. It is not a coincidence that so many top execs are leaving a company in such a short time.
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Old 01-28-2005, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheus
Nevertheless - no matter what palmOnephiles say - I think something is seriously wrong at palmOne. It is not a coincidence that so many top execs are leaving a company in such a short time.
This is actually pretty common in companies (especially technology companies), and happens for several reasons:

  1. A change in vision or company direction (or one coming up)
  2. Budgetary issues, that require them to save money to last until the next quarterly earnings statements to their shareholders (To save the most money by losing the least staff, start at the top)
  3. Personality conflicts with those in the management team
  4. Fraud
  5. Incompetence
When I was at $FORMER_EMPLOYER, we went through 4 CEOs in 18 months, and the company changed direction every time there was turnover in the management team. It also was shortly followed by a massive employee layoff period, but the real reason was incompetence in our case. When management doesn't listen to the market, or sales doesn't listen to the people actually delivering the work/code/product, doom is short to follow.

I suspect that palmOne dealing with 1. or 2. above. We'll see what happens in the next few months, however.
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Old 01-28-2005, 06:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
This is actually pretty common in companies (especially technology companies), and happens for several reasons:
True, but...
Quote:
A change in vision or company direction (or one coming up)
Agreed. But isn't palmOne in a niche market where a change in direction such extreme that most top execs would have to be replaced isn't really thinkable?
Quote:
Budgetary issues, that require them to save money to last until the next quarterly earnings statements to their shareholders (To save the most money by losing the least staff, start at the top)
Sounds like the perfect world; alas, this is not how it works. Top execs (especially CEOs) are not voluntarily leaving their jobs or even cutting their salaries just to make shareholders more happy.
Quote:
Personality conflicts with those in the management team...Fraud...Incompetence
All of which would be very bad for palmOne if this could be applied to one or all of the three former palmOne exec.
Quote:
We'll see what happens in the next few months, however.
Agreed! I am very curious to see where palmOne is heading.
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