updated 07:45 pm EDT, Fri April 16, 2010
SEC filing shows Palm paying extra to keep staff
(Updated with more transactions) A new SEC filing this week showed that Palm is paying executives direct cash incentives to keep them onboard. Several executives, including Global Operations Senior VP Jeff Devine and CFO Doug Jeffries, are being paid $250,000 bonuses and given stock options to stay on for at least two years as part of a "retention program" to keep them working. The payouts follow word that Software and Services Senior VP is resigning and will leave the company April 23rd.
Most of Palm's current executives were veterans of the company since before Jon Rubinstein joined the company in 2007. The now CEO has nonetheless restructured a significant portion of the staffing to shake up its development, sometimes including fellow former Apple workers.
Palm hasn't usually had an issue with voluntary executive departures since Rubinstein signed onboard. The smartphone pioneer's extremely poor fourth quarter, however, has led analysts to call into question Palm's ability to survive and possibly a crisis within the firm itself. Multiple rumors have circulated that the company is both shopping itself to buyers like HTC or Huawei and considering licensing webOS as alternatives to going alone with its dropping smartphone business. [via Engadget]
Update: more shares have been given out to virtually all of Palm's executive staff, suggesting either that the company is determined to keep all its senior officials during the crisis or else that the company may have found a likely buyer and is providing motivation to remain after the takeover.