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Gateway's Amiga president jumps ship

Just as Gateway's Amiga subsidiary is getting poised to make a run at the information appliance market, Amiga's president, Jim Collas, resigns.

Just as Gateway's Amiga subsidiary is getting poised to make a run at the information appliance market, Amiga's president, Jim Collas, has resigned.

Collas, former senior vice president of global products for Gateway, has left Amiga after less than nine months on the job, Gateway spokesperson Brad Shaw confirmed. He is being replaced by Tom Schmidt, who joined Amiga in April as its senior vice president and COO.

Schmidt was formerly with AlliedSignal, a manufacturing and technology concern in the market for aerospace products and services and automotive products.

No details were given about Collas' sudden departure, except that he left to pursue other interests.

Gateway purchased Amiga in 1997, but little has come from the acquisition since then.

Collas recently enunciated Amiga's plans to develop software for inexpensive TV set-top boxes and Internet appliances, he told CNET News.com.

Collas had hoped to revive Amiga's long-faded star by becoming a major supplier of technology for the emerging information appliance market. Gateway's Shaw said the basic plans are still in place with Schmidt now at the helm.

"Tom has in-depth experience building [large] operations," and the engineering team is still in place, said Shaw. "Tom is well suited to take Amiga to the next level, and the technology will move ahead unabated."

The move came as one Web site focused on Amiga noted that the company was recently granted at least 17 patents in the field of interactive television.