Will New Palm Directors Take Bigger Roles

CNNMoney.com has an article posted today which provides, in my opinion, a sobering and accurate picture of the situation that Palm finds itself in.

“NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Palm Inc.’s (PALM) warning that a key new product will miss out on the holiday shopping season illustrates the string of bungles that has weighed on the smartphone maker.

The problems call into question Chief Executive Ed Colligan’s ability to effectively manage the company. It also brings up the possibility that the incoming directors from Elevation Partners – Jon Rubinstein, Fred Anderson and Roger McNamee – may take a bigger role in day-to-day operations than previously thought.

“I would not be surprised if they were to assume a more active role in the company’s management,” said Lawrence Harris, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. “I would have to think they are concerned at this point.”

Under Colligan’s watch, which began in February 2005, Palm has suffered from several certification delays and an especially embarrassing product misfire in the Foleo. The problems underscore Palm’s tenuous position in the smartphone market as it gets overrun by larger, more dynamic rivals, such as the iPhone.

As a result, the Sunnyvale, Calif., maker of smartphones and PDAs has lost more than three-quarters of its market value over the past 20 months. The stock hit a bottom of $5.33 Friday, its lowest point in nearly four years, and recently traded at $5.63, down 14.6%. Its market cap is now about $600 million.”

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[Thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent this in.]