Palm's software chief quits

Michael Abbott, software and services head, will leave the company after April 23

Michael Abbott, the head of Palm's software and services team, will leave the company at the end of next week, according to a regulatory filing Palm made on Friday.

Abbott, Palm's senior vice president of software and services, submitted his resignation on Monday and will leave the company after April 23, Palm said in its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The resignation came as reports surface that the struggling handset maker is seeking a buyer. Last month Palm reported disappointing results for the quarter ended Feb. 26. Its Pre and Pixi smartphone lines, which run the WebOS operating system, are up against a growing number of smartphones using Google's Android platform as well as Apple's popular iPhone.

In the same filing on Friday, Palm disclosed it had given two other top executives financial incentives to stay on. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Douglas Jeffries and Senior Vice President of Global Operations Jeffrey Devine each received a cash bonus of US$250,000 and a grant of restricted stock units. The perks are to be received over a two-year period as long as the executives stay with Palm.

Abbott leads development of the application platform and services at Palm and has been an evangelist for WebOS at mobile conferences. He came to Palm from Microsoft, where he was the general manager of .Net Online Services.

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Stephen Lawson

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