Palm board member foresees positive future

One of Palm's newest board members predicts the company will enjoy a positive future in 2008 and beyond.

One of Palm's newest board members predicts the company will enjoy a positive future in 2008 and beyond. Last week, Palm, Inc. warned investors that it lost a significant amount of money in its last financial quarter. Despite this, one of Palm's newest board members is bullish on the company's future.

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Roger McNamee joined Palm's board of directors as part of a deal in which the private equity firm Elevation Partners purchased about 25% of the smartphone maker. He is one of the managing directors and co-founders of the private equity firm.

McNamee told Barrons that Elevation Partners' turn-around plan for Palm is just getting started, and won't bear fruit for some time. "You won't even see it in the numbers for awhile, but the company is off to a great start."

He believes that he and the other people who came in with the Elevation Partners deal -- including Jon Rubinstein, former head of the iPod division at Apple, who is now leading the company's product-development efforts -- can turn Palm around.

McNamee says the goal is to make Palm into a successful niche player in the burgeoning smartphone market, in the same way Apple has a profitable nice in the PC market.

He did not give any details on how this will be accomplished. It won't be an easy task, as the company has some significant hurdles, including creating a new operating system to replace the aging Palm OS.

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