AT&T's technology officer moves to Palm

Former AT&T chief technology officer (CTO) and president of AT&T Labs David C. Nagel today was named president and CEO of a new operating system subsidiary for Palm.

AT&T today said in a statement that it will replace Nagel with Hossein Eslambolchi, 43, the company's senior vice president of packet and optical networks.

Nagel, 56, has been on the Palm board of directors since February of last year. He has been at AT&T Labs since 1996, where he managed research and development for the company's next-generation Internet Protocol, data and managed services, and Business Services IT systems. He also was CTO for Concert, the global joint venture between AT&T and British Telecom. Before then he was at Apple Computer Corp., where he was an executive vice president in charge of research and development for various Macintosh software and hardware products.

In 1997, President Clinton appointed Nagel and five other technologists, among them Vincent Cerf, to an IT advisory committee on High-Performance Computing and Communications, Information Technology and the Next-Generation Internet (see story). Nagel now serves on the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee for President Bush.

"We can think of no one more qualified to shape our Platform Solutions Group into a highly competitive, wholly owned subsidiary and extend the success of the Palm economy in the marketplace than Dave Nagel," said Palm CEO Carl Yankowski in a statement. "His broad relevant background and technical acumen is well known, and he hits the ground running with a deep understanding of the Palm OS, its strengths and its full potential."

Today's announcement is the latest in a series of management restructuring moves from the Santa Clara, Calif.-based maker of wireless handheld devices.

Nagel, in the same statement, said it was, "very hard to leave AT&T," but "the opportunity to lead the handheld industry's leading software platform company is an excellent fit with my skills and interests."

Eslambolchi, a holder of 87 patents, started with AT&T in 1985. He was the program manager for the company's Fast Automated Restoration System, which provides for quick restoration of phone service when fiber optic cables are damaged.

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