Todd Achilles, whose named couldn’t be more ironic because of the struggle that Palm is facing integrating into HP and that HP is facing in making a credible name for themselves in the smartphone market, is now in charge of both companies sales teams for the Americas. Achilles has experience in this space. He used to be in charge of HTC’s American office in Bellevue, Washington about half a decade ago, and helped devices like the T-Mobile Dash reach the market. He left in September 2007 saying that he was tired of the intense traveling that was required of him. For the past 5 months his title at HP has been Vice President for Telco Sales.
Will he do a better job than Palm’s old executive team? Many, including Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, have said that if the Pre came out on Verizon first and not Sprint than the device would have had a greater chance at success and the company wouldn’t have needed to sell themselves out for money. That may or may not be true, what we do know is that webOS is a capable smartphone operating system, but it needs to be on better hardware. HP doesn’t have a stellar history of producing great mobile devices. Their previous handheld and smartphone portfolio consisted of designs from their acquisition of Compaq.
Achilles is going to have to convince operators that they should give Palm one more chance. That they should support yet another mobile operating system. That the Pre, whose brief history will live in the minds of everyone for years to come, was just a stepping stone and that better things are yet to come. Think he can do the job? Think HP can do the job?
I’m pessimistic, but that’s nothing new if you’ve been reading what I’ve had to say about the industry for the past few years.
[Photo via the film “Troy“]