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Palm hands out golden handcuffs

Would you stick with Palm for quarter of a mil?

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Palm has started handing out golden handcuffs to the key executives who've not already jumped ship, in what could be the run up to an acquisition announcement.

One key executive who's already plunged overboard is Michael Abbott - the man credited, in large part, with creating WebOS.

Michael Abbott's last day will be next week, as explained in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing from Palm, picked up by Engadget.

The filings also detail incentives of up to $250,000 for key executives, if they choose to stick with Palm, which should be a significant incentive to hang around and get to know the new owners, whoever they turn out to be.

Palm needs a suitor, with Huawei and ZTE being in the frame as well as some of the more-familiar brands. But when companies change hands there's a tendency for the key talent to disappear. Thus the golden handcuffs, used to ensure that the staff remain on the premises during the change of ownership, which, in turn, makes the company a more attractive acquisition.

That means we shouldn't assume an announcement is imminent, just that the negotiating position is being laid out. Palm is slapping on a bit of lippy and a nice frock, but that doesn't mean there's a handsome prince waiting at the door. ®

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