In a regulatory filing late last week, struggling smartphone maker Palm revealed that its head of software and services, Michael Abbot, has resigned from the company and will be leaving April 23, 2009. Furthermore, Palm is working on a retention program designed to keep executive officers and other “key employees” from leaving the company by offering then equity awards and cash bonuses spread over a two-year period.
Abbot’s resignation comes as industry reports have Palm looking for a buyer following very dissappointing results for its fiscal quarter ending in February. Palm’s Pre and Pixi smartphones have had trouble gaining traction with consumers, who have a bevy of smartphone choices including BlackBerries, Android-based devices, and (of course) the iPhone. However, Palm’s webOS smartphone operating system has generally been well-received, and may be Palm’s primary asset in a sale—reported interested parties include Taiwan’s HTC.
Palm’s new executive retention program already has two takers: CFO Douglas Jeffries and operations chief Jeffrey Devine are each getting a stock grant and an additional $250,000 to stay with the company another two years.
[Update: Abbot will apparently become Twitter’s vice president of engineering.