Psion founder retires

PDA carriage clock awaits

The founder of mobile computer firm Psion has stepped down from his role as chairman of the company.

Psion announced Dr David Potter's retirement on 26 June this year, when it appointed John Hawkins as his successor. He formally takes over as chairman at the firm today after serving on Psion's board of directors since 2002.

Potter ran Psion for nearly twenty years after founding the firm in 1980 with £70,000 of his own capital. In 1999 he stood down as CEO partly on health grounds and became chairman of the British PDA maker.

The company developed three generations of operating systems under Potter's tenure. Down the line Psion eventually formed the industry standard Symbian OS alongside Nokia and Ericsson.

In 2001 Psion began to withdraw from the PDA market it had helped pioneer after closing its consumer electronics unit, choosing instead to focus on Symbian and the enterprise side of the market. Three years later the firm announced plans to dispose of Psion's remaining Symbian shares to Nokia.

Potter said in an interview with The Register in 2007 that Psion "couldn’t have played in all of those markets."

Today Psion is listed on the London stock market and trades under the Psion Teklogix name. It provides software for mobile computing and wireless data collection and claims customers in more than 80 countries around the globe.

Potter said in 2007 that the "genes of Psion software" were in many of the smartphones available on the market today. "That’s the high ground it has, and that’s its success." ®

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