Palm Hires Chief Operating Officer, More Cutbacks Expected
Palm Inc. announced today it has hired Todd Bradley, formerly executive vice president of global operations at Gateway Inc., to be executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Solutions Group. In addition, the company said channel sell-through has continued to improve as the company's new line, the m500 series, is selling well in the United States and has just begun selling internationally.
Bradley's appointment is part of the company's actions to solidify Palm's leadership in the mobile computing marketplace and to return to profitability. Key elements of the plan include bolstering the company's management, reducing costs, and aggressively developing innovative products.
"Todd brings a strong track record of accomplishment in high-volume manufacturing, supply-chain management and international business," said Carl Yankowski, Palm chief executive officer. "His hands-on operating style and focus on growth and income drivers will help take Palm's operation to the next level. His experience in Europe and Asia Pacific makes him an excellent choice to manage geographically dispersed sites, and his experience and acumen in creating content-driven businesses with recurring revenue streams is a good match for Palm's vision."
Bradley, 42, brings many years of senior-management experience in consumer products and consumer services to Palm. At Gateway, he was responsible for its multibillion-dollar consumer business. During his three years there, Bradley streamlined business and manufacturing processes and implemented the Six Sigma process. He also held executive positions at GE Capital Corp., Dunn and Bradstreet Corp., and Federal Express Corp.
Bradley replaces Satjiv Chahil, who was appointed interim head of the Solutions Group in March in addition to his duties as chief marketing officer. Under his leadership, Chahil, who has extensive experience running consumer and enterprise businesses, instituted a number of operational improvements. Chahil will return full-time to his role as chief marketing officer, where he will focus additionally on driving new marketing alliances and content relationships that take advantage of the company's Secure Digital and MultiMediaCard media expansion choice.
"I'm delighted to join the leader in handheld computing," Bradley said. "With a winning brand, compelling vision, the industry's most expandable handhelds and the strength of the Palm Economy, I'm confident Palm will be able to reach its goals. I intend to build on the new focus, efficiencies and momentum Carl, Satjiv and their teams have put in place."
Palm gained share in the U.S. retail marketplace, according to the latest weekly report published by NPD Intellect. Since the m500 series became available at retail stores, NPD's weekly surveys show that the company's market share rose from 60 percent to 67 percent and that the new products accounted for 24 percent of all Palm(TM) handheld sales.
"We've worked to improve our execution on engineering to manufacturing and logistics. And despite the soft market, our efforts are beginning to show results," said Yankowski. "We're encouraged by the popularity of our new products and the uptick in retail sales of our existing products as well. We're pleased with customers' response to our marketing and sales-incentive programs introduced over the last two months, and we're gratified by the report of share growth as we complete this significant product transition."
Palm also said it will make additional reductions in its work force in the first fiscal quarter of 2002 to bring its cost structure closer in line with business conditions. Last month, Palm reduced its work force by a total of about 300 regular and contract workers. The company expects to provide more information about its work-force reduction when it announces fourth-quarter 2001 results the week of June 25.
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