An interesting article from today’s Wall Street Journal has appeared in a Yahoo Finance discussion forum discussing some of the changes that are taking place inside Palm. The one thing that I have learned recently about companies when private equity firms come in is that they like to run things “lean and mean.” That, I believe, is why people are in such a tailspin about the as yet confirmed global layoffs at Palm.
The Wall Street Journal article reads, in part:
“Mr. Rubinstein now faces numerous challenges at Palm. Last week, Palm warned it would miss estimates when it next reports earnings on Tuesday, sending its stock plunging. Yesterday, Palm made some reassignments and staff reductions.
Since it typically takes at least 18 months to develop new phones from scratch, it may take years for Mr. Rubinstein’s impact to show up. “With the business smart-phone market dominated by RIM and the personal smart-phone market dominated by Apple, it’s hard to say where Palm’s opportunity is,” says Andy Neff, an analyst at Bear Stearns & Co.
So far, Mr. Rubinstein — who heads all of Palm’s research, development and engineering — has kept mum about his plans. But people familiar with his thinking say he is focused on a new Linux-based software platform that would create one set of applications for all Palm products. He wants the platform, due out sometime next year, to be the basis for new phone formats, including possibly a 12-key phone.”