3Com nabs former Reebok exec to head Palm unit

3Com has appointed Carl Yankowski, a former top executive with a unit of Reebok International, as chief executive officer of its Palm Computing division.

Yankowski was most recently president and CEO of Reebok Brand. Prior to joining Reebok in September 1998, he served five years as president and CEO of Sony Electronics, a division of Sony, 3Com said.

He joins the company as 3Com prepares to spin off part of the division in an IPO (initial public offering) early next year. The networking equipment vendor acquired Palm as part of its 1997 purchase of U.S. Robotics. The unit has grown quickly, and accounted for 10 percent of 3Com's total sales in fiscal 1999, 3Com said earlier this year.

Yankowski, who was also appointed to Palm Computing's board of directors, will start work at the company on December 13. Alan Kessler remains Palm Computing's president, a position he assumed in June of this year.

In addition to Yankowski, Palm named two other new board members: Eric Benhamou, 3Com's chairman and CEO, and Susan Swensen, president and chief operating officer of Leap Wireless International and CEO at Cricket Communications.

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