PalmSource has named former Apple executive, Jean-Louis Gassee as company chairman.

He takes the seat vacated by retiring incumbent, Eric Benhamou. PalmSource develop the Palm OS for a multitude of handheld computers.

Gassee founded Be in 1990 after a successful career at Apple Computer. The first Be OS looked likely to be adopted in 1996 as the core of a new Macintosh operating system, but negotiations between Be and Apple eventually foundered.

Steve Jobs, returning to run Apple, turned instead to a company called Next Inc. - which Jobs partially owned - to provide the core of a new Macintosh OS.

Despite receiving a $25 million investment in 1998 from Intel and others, Be never found mainstream commercial success, despite positioning itself as the best alternative OS for applications like audio/video creation and playback.

Palm acquired Be in August 2002 for $11 million