Former Apple exec Jon Rubenstein to assume CEO position at Palm

Wed, Jun 10, 2009


In less than 2 years time, former Apple executive Jon Rubenstein went from sipping margaritas on a beach in Mexico to helping Palm deliver what some consider to be a worthy competitor to the iPhone in the form of the Palm Pre.  And now, Rubenstein is poised to assume the CEO position at Palm in just a few days, replacing current CEO Ed Colligan.

Palm issued a press release earlier today stating:

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jun 10, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) today announced that its board of directors has appointed Jon Rubinstein to lead the company as Chairman and CEO upon the departure of Ed Colligan, who is stepping down after sixteen years of leadership at the company. Rubinstein, who joined Palm as Executive Chairman in October 2007 to help bring innovation back to the company, assumes his role as CEO on June 12. Colligan plans to take some time off, then join Elevation Partners.

“I am very excited about taking on this expanded role at Palm,” said Rubinstein. “Ed and I have worked very hard together the past two years, and I’m grateful to him for everything he’s done to help set the company up for success. With Palm webOS we have ten-plus years of innovation ahead of us, and the Palm Pre is already one of the year’s hottest new products. Due in no small part to Ed’s courageous leadership, we’re in great shape to get Palm back to continuous growth, and we plan to keep the trajectory going upward.”

“I’m very proud of what Palm has accomplished so far,” said Colligan. “We pioneered two major product categories and I believe we are on our way to defining the standard for the mobile web. I’m extremely proud of our team, and grateful to have played a role in turning Palm around. I know that Jon, the Board and the Palm executive team will do an incredible job driving Palm to new heights.”

Rubenstein, of course, spent the better part of the last 20 years working closely with Steve Jobs (first at Next and then at Apple), and was an instrumental part of the team that helped develop the original iMac and the first edition iPod.  After retiring from his position as the Senior VP of Apple’s iPod division in 2006, he was wooed back to the tech world by Palm in the hopes that he could help save the once proud handheld maker.  If you’re a fan of Palm, Rubenstein has far exceeded expectations, and he’s exactly the man you’d want for the job.

Related: Jon Rubenstein wasn’t keen on an iPhone-like device in 2005


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