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Palm replaces CFO with eBay veteran

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Palm Inc PALM.O on Monday moved to replace its finance chief as the company struggles to regain a foothold in the ultra-competitive smartphone market.

Palm named Douglas Jeffries as its new CFO effective January 7. He is replacing Andy Brown, who will remain with the company through January.

Palm, the maker of the Centro and Treo smartphones, has been leaking market share to rivals Research in Motion Ltd RIM.TO, whose Blackberry dominates the corporate market, and Apple Inc AAPL.O, who's iPhone has been a hit with consumers.

Some analysts say Palm may need to raise additional capital in order to survive. Private-equity firm Elevation Partners bought a 25 percent stake in the company last year for $325 million.

Jeffries resigned as CFO of corn-based fuel maker Pacific Ethanol Inc PEIX.O in July of 2007 after only six weeks in the position. Prior to that he was chief accounting officer at eBay Inc EBAY.O.

The management change is just the latest hurdle for Sunnyvale, California-based Palm as it gears up for its crucial launch next year of a new device and operating system.

Earlier this month, the company forecast fiscal second-quarter revenue to come in well below Wall Street’s forecast, citing weak demand. Palm also said it will cut an unspecified number of jobs in the U.S., consolidate its European operations, and shift some Asia Pacific operations to the U.S.

Palm’s shares closed the regular session down 31 cents, or 13 percent, at $1.99 and rose 6 cents in the after-hours session.

Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Gunna Dickson

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