Palm software chief to quit

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Palm software chief to quit

Michael Abbott parts company with the troubled handset maker.

Palm’s software and services chief Michael Abbott will leave the company next week, as rumours continue to circle that the troubled handset manufacturer is about to be sold.

A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday revealed that Abbott would be leaving by 23 April.

“Palm is implementing a retention program for certain key employees, including executive officers,” the filing continued.

“The program includes equity awards and cash bonuses to be earned over a two year period provided that the individuals remain as employees of the company.”

As part of this program, Palm’s senior vice president of Global Operations, Jeffrey Devine, and Douglas Jeffries, Palm’s chief financial officer, each received a grant a cash bonus of $250,000.

The news comes as rumours spread this week that the Pre smartphone maker could soon be up for sale. Palm refused to comment on what it said was "market speculation", but a Bloomberg report citing three people familiar with the matter claimed that the company could be sold to Taiwan's HTC or China's Lenovo.

The company disappointed analysts last month when it released its third-quarter results, reporting a net loss of US$22m.

Palm provides products for consumers and businesses including the Pre, Treo and Centro smartphones, as well as software, services and accessories.

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