PalmOne's Ed Colligan has joined the ranks of interim CEOs who become the real deal.
The PDA pioneer announced yesterday its decision to give Colligan a seat on the board, to drop the 'interim' from his job title and to issue him with a new set of business cards.*
Colligan took over the company's key role on 25 February following the departure of the previous PalmOne CEO, Todd Bradley. He has been the company's president since 16 June 2004, eight months after its acquisition of Handspring.
The choice is appropriate: Colligan has form, as they say. He joined Palm Computing in 1993 and oversaw the launch of the Palm Pilot as the company's head of marketing. When Palm founders Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky bailed out to found Handspring, Colligan went with them and helped out.
When Palm - now renamed PalmOne after spinning off its operating system software division as PalmSource - bought Handspring in October 2003, Colligan returned to the company to run what was left of Handspring as PalmOne's wireless division. The growth of the smart-phone market, and the relative decline of the pure-play PDA business, made Colligan a logical choice as Bradley's successor.
PalmOne chairman Eric Benhamou noted Colligan's "outstanding record of leadership", adding: "his passion for the company and the industry distinguish him". Despite that, the company made him work two-and-a-half months as interim CEO to ensure he "secured the confidence of the board, our customers, suppliers and employees". ®
*No, even PalmOne excutives don't beam their business cards.
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