Palm's Execs Are Jumping Ship as Fast as Its Potential BuyersS

Today's casualty is Caitlin Spaan, veep for Palm's carrier marketing. It's a comparatively small loss compared to when their Senior VP of software bailed two weeks ago, but it amplifies an increasingly obvious message: Palm is in a death spiral.

Aside from these public destaffings, the last few weeks saw Palm going through the motions of, well, dying:

• Despite expanding handset availability on Verizon, Palm couldn't push nearly enough phones last quarter to quell doubts about its future. A buyout seemed inevitable, or rather, necessary.
• Buyout rumors! Google; HTC; Lenovo; Huawei.
• The field of buyers, sadly, thinned to one.
• Jon Rubinstein said some sad-sounding things.

That execs are bailing is really no surprise: Palm's crisis in existential, and solving it without a massive overhaul of the company (read: brutal dismantling and absorption into separate company's product line) seems all but impossible. It's not what a Lenovo buyout would mean, but it doesn't seem like it would solve Palm's biggest problem, which is that they just don't have the depth afforded to mobile platforms of companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple by their respective sets of services.

In other words, we can expect a lot more news like this in the coming weeks, including—maybe—a grand exit by Rubinstein himself. We'll see. [Techcrunch]