Beleaguered Palm axes 10% of work force

Beleaguered Palm, maker of the Dino-Riffic! Windows Mobile-based Treo and other devices festooned with quaint tiny plastic buttons has just laid off about 10% of its work force.

MacDailyNews Take:
Dear Palm workers,

Because of our mismanagement, love of resting upon aged laurels, intense aversion to innovation, and general inability to get off our duffs for years… you’re fired.

Merry Christmas!
– Palm Management Team

The Associated Press reports, “The Sunnyvale-based company issued a statement today confirming some layoffs. A person with knowledge of the situation said Palm, which has a worldwide staff of 1,150, was eliminating more than 100 jobs. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Palm was not publicly disclosing the number of layoffs.”

AP’s brief article here.

Our hearts go out to those Palm employees who are affected. May you quickly find work at a company that does exciting, innovative, and original things, for a change. It’s unfortunate that those shortsighted few who misled you to this day will someday soon ride comfortably to earth on their huge golden parachutes. Ahh, life in and after big business.

We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.Palm CEO Ed Colligan, commenting on then-rumored Apple iPhone, Nov. 16, 2006

Nobody promised that the bloodbath would be pretty.


  1. That’s really sad for those people. Palm could have been a decent competitor. And it’s usually HR and marketing that get booted first instead of executives.

    And on an unrelated note, hearts of Palm kick ass in a salad.

    “Jeff Hawkins and I still believe that the market category defined by Foleo has enormous potential. When we do Foleo II it will be based on our new platform, and we think it will deliver on the promise of this new category. We’re not going to speculate now on timing for a next Foleo, we just know we need to get our core platform and smartphones done first.”
    – excerpt from “A Message to Palm Customers, Partners and Developers” by Ed Colligan, September 4th, 2007.

  2. I predict a smudge move, the Foleo budget is padded and funds get redirected into personal accounts since the execs already know they’re on a downward spiral. Not sure, of course, but anybody who’s not an exec knows Foleo was a stupid idea, then how can a highly paid exec not realistically know this also? Unless it somehow benefits him not to know, possibly.

  3. @MacBill: which is odd considering the number of ex-Apple people involved in Palm, at least at the beginning.
    It’s funny how some of the most successful enterprises are ones that don’t arbitrarily exclude Macs. Blizzard, Adobe come to mind, Even Microsoft does well with the little bit they offer.

  4. In robotic voice: M-u-s-t k-i-l-l t-i-n-y b-u-t-t-o-n-s

    But in all seriousness, I am sincerely disappointed in Palm, and have been for a long time, because they could have been very good ongoing competition for the iPhone – And I hope we’ve all learned by now that competition is key to getting good product at a good price. The iPhone is soaring high and that’s a good thing, in fact it’s a great thing, but in the long run it’s going to need competition to remain a good product for the end user, simply dominating the market is only good for the manufacturer, not the consumer, and in the very long run it’s not even good for the manufacturer – As MS has very well demonstrated for the last two decades ad nauseam.

    I don’t know what happened to Palm, it’s like they saw inventing the Treo as being the end-all-be-all to a life on easy street, and nobody who makes their living producing high tech gets to live on easy street until they retire. I think Palm just got lazy. It’s really a damn shame. I for one am sorry to see them bottoming out.

  5. This doesn’t make sense. Palm partnered with Microsoft so everything from then on should have been wine and roses. The workforce should have doubled by now, I mean, Palm licensed mighty Windows for Chrissakes.

  6. We all recognize hubris when we hear it. In high technology, perhaps to an exaggerated degree, the haves and not diverge, and the last thing to go is the echo of certain pronouncement.

    “We alone have the vision.” Uttered just before the movers come in for your desk.

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