Palm Chooses Head of Hardware Development
Palm, Inc. has just named Todd Bradley as president of its Palm Solutions Group. This means Mr. Bradley is in charge of the company's handheld computer hardware; software, such as enterprise email software; and add-ons, such as keyboards and SD Card and MultiMediaCard expansion cards. Once the company splits off PalmSource, its subsidiary that makes the Palm OS, the Palm Solutions Group will basically be Palm, Inc.
Mr. Bradley has been the group's chief operating officer since June of last year, and will remain so. Essentially, he's been in charge of the Solutions Group since his appointment. He now has the title to go with the responsibility.
"This appointment reflects the board's confidence in Todd's leadership and recognizes him for his team's operational contributions over the last three quarters," said Eric Benhamou, Palm chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
Mr. Bradley was brought on board at a low point for Palm. The recession, the mishandling of the m500 series roll-out, and other mistakes had left the company with a huge glut of handhelds it couldn't sell. But much worse, Palm was getting a reputation for resting on its laurels. It hadn't released a truly innovative handheld in years. Mr. Bradley was brought in to help fix both of these problems.
From a financial standpoint, the company has had an almost complete turn around. Palm announced a slight net profit for its most recent financial quarter and expects to make a larger one this quarter.
Mr. Bradley's team appears to be making progress on its second task as well. It has committed to having a wireless handheld running Palm OS 5 out before this fall. The feature set for this device hasn't been announced but it seems likely that it will be a GSM/GPRS smartphone and could include new multimedia capabilities. Palm has also committed to start building Bluetooth into some of its models.
Mr. Bradley was formerly executive vice president of global operations at Gateway Inc.
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