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France Telecom exec replaces Barksdale on Palm board

Jean-Jacques Damlamian will replace the former CEO of Netscape Communications on the board of the handheld computer maker.

Jean-Jacques Damlamian, a group executive vice president for France Telecom, will replace former Netscape Communications CEO James Barksdale on the board of directors of Palm.

The appointment of Damlamian, 58, comes at a time when Palm is gearing to move deeper into the world of wireless communications.

Palm has already released one device, the Palm VII, that connects wirelessly to the Internet. In the near future, every Palm will either connect to the Net directly or through Bluetooth or some other "bridge" technology, company executives have said.

Barksdale is stepping down to spend more time managing his venture capital group, The Barksdale Group, Palm said.

Barksdale joined the Palm board in September 1999, when the company first separated from 3Com. Prior to serving as a Palm director, Barksdale had been a 3Com director since 1987. Mike Homer, another Netscape alumnus, sits on the Palm board.

"Jean-Jacques brings a European perspective on mobile communications and a depth of business and technical expertise in the telecom industry that are vital to Palm's immediate and long-term growth," Eric Benhamou, Palm's chairman and 3Com's CEO, said in a statement.