PalmOne has officially given its interim CEO Ed Colligan the job.

The decision comes just days before PalmOne is expected to launch the first device in its new mobile manager range of handheld computing products.

Colligan, 44, was appointed interim CEO after Todd Bradley announced his plans in January to leave the company. Although the former CEO delayed his departure until this month in order to advise on the management transition, he relinquished the title at the end of February.

Bradley and Colligan were the driving forces behind PalmOne's evolution. Colligan joined Palm Computing in 1993 as vice president of marketing, later moving on to co-found Handspring, where he served as president and chief operating officer.

In October 2003, as part of PalmOne's acquisition of Handspring, it spun off its software division to create PalmSource, freeing PalmOne to focus on hardware. Colligan joined PalmOne as general manager of its wireless business, and in June 2004 was promoted to president.

Eric Benhamou, PalmOne's chairman today praised Colligan's trial run in the top job, crediting him with securing the confidence of the PalmOne's board of directors, its customers, suppliers and employees.

His most pressing challenge will now be clawing back its dwindling share of an overall declining PDA market from companies like HP.

PalmOne is hoping that the LifeDrive Mobile Manager, expected to make its debut on Wednesday, will play a key role in reviving the company's fortunes.

The mobile manager range of devices is aimed at consumers who want to use as much digital content as possible, including music, video, e-mail and business documents in Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats. It will sit alongside PalmOne's other two ranges: the Tungsten and Zire branded handheld organizers, and the Treo smart phone.