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Handspring CFO to resign

The company announces that Chief Financial Officer Bernard J. Whitney will resign by the end of its fiscal year.

Handspring announced on Thursday that its chief financial officer will resign by the end of the company's fiscal year.

Bernard J. Whitney, 45, will leave his post as CFO on July 1 to spend more time with his family, according to Handspring spokesman Allen Bush.

Bush said that Whitney's resignation was on "very amicable" terms and that Whitney does not yet have employment plans.

"Handspring is a company with great promise, and my decision to leave was not an easy one," Whitney said in a release. "However, after 22 years in the high-technology industry, I have decided to take a break and spend more time with my family. I am confident in the company's future and wish the team well."

Handspring has hired recruiting firm Spencer Stuart to begin a search for a replacement, which the company hopes to fill by the time Whitney resigns. If the position isn't filled by then, Chief Executive Donna Dubinsky will take over the role on an interim basis.

"We don't think it will take too long to find a replacement, but we won't fill the role for expediency's sake," Bush said.

Whitney will stay on through the launch of the company's color version of its Treo communicator, a combination cell phone and handheld scheduled to appear in the middle of the year.

Handspring holds the No. 3 market share position for handhelds worldwide, according to research firm IDC. Palm is No. 1 and Compaq Computer is No. 2.

Handspring licenses the operating system for its devices from Palm, which on Thursday named Chief Operating Officer Todd Bradley president of its hardware unit.

Shares of Handspring fell 20 cents, or about 8 percent, closing at $2.32 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.