Former palmOne CEO Now in Charge of the iPAQ Line

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Todd Bradley, the former CEO of palmOne, has been made the head of the division of HP that makes the iPAQ line of handhelds.

HP has just pulled its printer business back out of its Personal Systems Group (PSG), just a few months after combining the two. Bradley will take the helm of the PSG, which, in addition to handhelds, is responsible for the company’s notebook and desktop PCs, monitors, workstations, and related support services.

Bradley resigned as palmOne’s CEO at the end of the first quarter of this year. At the time he gave no reason for his departure, but it seems obvious now.

Bradley joined Palm Inc. in 2001 as chief operating officer of the Palm Solutions Group, and was promoted to president of that group in May 2002.

He became president and chief executive officer of palmOne in October of 2003 when Palm spun off PalmSource, the operating-system business, and acquired Handspring. The company was renamed palmOne at that time.

Prior to palmOne, he spent three years at Gateway, most recently as executive vice president, global operations, and previously ran its operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He has also held senior roles at GE Capital, The Dun & Bradstreet, and FedEx.

“Todd Bradley is an outstanding executive with a long track record of growing businesses, executing against plans and exceeding targets,” said Mark Hurd, HP chief executive officer and president. “His experience driving growth and profitability in highly competitive hardware fields makes him well-suited for this position.”

Possible Ramifications

It’s much too early to say what effects having the former head of the top Palm OS maker take over at the top Pocket PC maker, but that hasn’t stopped people from speculating.

Putting a greater emphasis on cellular-wireless handhelds and smartphones is a likely result, especially as HP was already moving in this direction. However, its first attempt, the iPAQ h6300 series, was not a big success, and HP might have hired Bradley in hopes he can put the company on the right course in this area.

Some have pointed out that HP might even license the Palm OS, but this is just speculation. Still, it does come at a time when there are persistent rumors that palmOne is developing its first Windows Mobile device.

Thanks to Benjamin S. Armen for the tip.

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