Symbian Foundation adrift

The Symbian Foundation confirmed today that Lee Williams, the company's CEO has stepped down effective immediately.

The Foundation has named Tim Holbrow, the former CFO, as his successor at the helm of the company. The battle-hardened veteran and, now, former Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation abandons ship after two of Symbian's major backers - Samsung and Sony-Ericsson - abandoned the platform.

For reasons almost as old as business itself - the former executive director pointed to "personal reasons" for his departure - and will only fuel questions about the wavering future of Symbian and its OS. Symbian OSes still have a sizable, 40.1 per cent, slice of the mobile OS market. The problem is that the sizable slice is only bait for the competition to home in on.

Things haven't been going well for the Symbian Foundation. After Sony-Ericsson's announcement yesterday this leaves Nokia as the sole stakeholder in the foundation, and basically tears to shreds the reason for its existence. The current events are creating a great deal of uncertainty on the future of the Symbian Foundation and raise even more speculation that the Foundation will be fully integrated into the ranks of Nokia.

On Mr Williams' side, it would be no surprise if he landed a nice job heading up mobile OS development at Sony-Ericsson or even returned to Palm. Williams, has been around the block more than a few times, including a few years at Palm, Iomega and Nokia, so it won't be that much of a surprise if he's had his head hunted.

If anything Lee Williams will at least hold the title of "First Casualty in the Mobile Wars".