Key Palm exec leaves amid reports of pending sale

Palm's chief developer advocate is leaving company at same time it implemented a new executive-retention plan that includes up to $250,000 in cash bonuses.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
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Palm implemented an executive-retention plan Friday as a key leader decided to move on amid reports that the company is up for sale.

Michael Abbott Palm
Michael Abbott, senior vice president of software for Palm, is leaving the company amid reports it will be sold. James Martin/CNET

Engadget spotted a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday notifying investors that Michael Abbott, senior vice president of software and a key representative before developers, is leaving the company. In a separate but definitely related statement, Palm said it has given senior executives incentives to remain with the company for two years, including $250,000 in cash for its chief financial officer and senior vice president of global operations.

It's looking more and more like Palm is getting ready for big changes following a devastating earnings report last month. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the company is shopping itself to potential buyers that include Lenovo, HTC, and Huawei, among others.

Abbott made several appearances at developer conferences on behalf of Palm, explaining the company's Web OS operating system when it was new to the world. His formal position at Palm involved leading "the application platform and services development" for Web OS, according to his corporate biography.

It's not clear who is on Palm's executive-retention list other than the two executives named in the filing: Jeff Devine, the supply-chain head, and Doug Jeffries, the CFO. Minus Abbott, eight individuals are listed on Palm's management team Web page.