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Former Apple hardware chief appointed as Palm's new CEO

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
Jon Rubinstein, an Apple executive who helped lead the company out of its dark ages and later played an integral role in pioneering the iPod, was named chief executive officer of rival handset maker Palm on Wednesday.

Rubinstein will replace Ed Colligan, who is stepping down after sixteen years of leadership at the company. In addition to acting as chief executive, Rubinstein will remain Palm's executive chairman, a role he adopted in October of 2007 when he was courted to help rescue the sinking smartphone maker, which had long veered off the innovation super-highway and found itself scrambling for ideas.

“I am very excited about taking on this expanded role at Palm. 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,” said Rubinstein. "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.”

Rubinstein's surge to Palm's highest office comes just days after the company began selling its new $200 Pre smartphone, a device widely believed to pose the greatest competitive threat yet to Apple's similarly-positioned and priced iPhone.

"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," Rubinstein said while accepting his new position.

Prior to joining Palm, Rubinstein employed his masters in electrical engineering at high-tech firms including Hewlett-Packard and Ardent Computer Corp. He was approached by Steve Jobs in 1990 to run NeXT's hardware engineering team, a position he accepted before ultimately departing to join a startup that would later be absorbed by Motorola.

In 1996, Rubinstein was again summoned by Jobs, who had just returned to Apple as a special advisor to then CEO Gil Amelio following the Mac maker's purchase of NeXT a bit earlier that year. Though Apple was in dire straits and bleeding cash at the time, Rubinstein accepted an executive position as senior vice president of hardware engineering because he saw the company as "the last innovative high-volume computer maker in the world."

In the years that would follow, Rubinstein -- better known as "Ruby" by his peers -- would take the reigns of Apple's Mac hardware engineer team, which he helped streamline and restructure alongside Jobs' advisement. He would go on to oversee development of the original iMac and several future generations of Mac hardware including G4 and G5 systems.

With the Mac back on its feet, Apple began to pursue alternative markets and Jobs tapped Rubinstein, 54, to devise a digital music player in just eight months. It was Rubinstein who discovered the original iPod's key technology at the time, a 1.8-inch hard disk floating around Toshiba's labs with no target market.

The iPod was a near instant runaway success and the iPod was eventually spun off into its own division, which Jobs put under Rubinstein's watch. During his year's at Apple, Rubinstein was also responsible from some industrial design, low-level software and iPod accessory development. He abruptly announced his retirement in 2005 only to turn up to two years later to help pluck Palm from the same murky waters from which he helped save Apple a decade earlier.
post #2 of 60
Apple's doooooooooomed
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post #3 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Apple's doooooooooomed

Why ?

Does Palm make multimedia players ? No...
Does Palm make computers ? No...
Does Palm sell music, movies etc... ? No
Does Palm already sold more than 40 millions WebOs based devices ? No...

They still have a long way to go !
But I hope for Palm (and all of us, customers) that they will be among us for a bit longer now

(excuse me for my english I'm french...)
post #4 of 60
Stealing Apple's thunder...copycats.


Well they can't keep it up forever.

My guess, RIM buys Palm or Apple buys it to kill it.

Or even worse, M$ buys Palm.


There can only be one, maybe two. Three's a crowd.

Perhaps that's the purpose of this by Palm.

"Look were are hot, buy us!"
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #5 of 60
Wow.. "Ruby" is the CEO now?

I can't believe the board didn't throw Ed Colligan of the boat a long time ago.. Wasn't he the guy that said "We've been working on Smartphones for a decade... PC guys don't get it".. LOL.
Hilarious considering it took Rubenstein and a bunch of Apple engineers to make the Pre!
post #6 of 60
Benedict Arnold.
post #7 of 60
I'm not surprised. Jon probably made this deal when he first signed with Palm. Chances are Palm will fall flat on its face. Microsoft would not buy Palm because they're about to release WM7 next year. RIM won't buy them because they have no reason to. The people that buy BB's are not interested in pretty interfaces but email and encryption. Dell could buy them, but why? They would be far more successful in using Android or WM. Palm will not be around in five years. Everyone will have copied the best of their OS and not have to buy them out.

I can't wait for the day when Palm goes under and Rubenstein is looking for a job elsewhere and he doesn't have any more Apple ideas to peddle. Suck it, Jon!
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by taigebu View Post

Why ?

Does Palm make multimedia players ? No...
Does Palm make computers ? No...
Does Palm sell music, movies etc... ? No
Does Palm already sold more than 40 millions WebOs based devices ? No...

They still have a long way to go !
But I hope for Palm (and all of us, customers) that they will be among us for a bit longer now

(excuse me for my english I'm french...)

Welcome to the forums. Hes actually making fun of the people that dont realize the simple truth you stated.
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post #9 of 60
At least with Rubenstein on board, we can hopefully see better products and more intelligent management on Palm. Colligan and his cronies practically burned Palm into the ground and left a lot of developers (me included) really pissed off. Colligan should have been ejected ages ago.

I don't think Palm has much of a chance at this stage. The Pre may go down in history as the right device but at the wrong time. Nonetheless, it will be fun sitting back and watching the action. If anyone can pull it off, it may very well be Rubenstein.
post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Welcome to the forums. Hes actually making fun of the people that dont realize the simple truth you stated.

Ohhhh ok ! Thank lord it's just that ^^

Thank you for welcoming me in the forums
post #11 of 60
Rubenstein v Jobs death-match... good times.
post #12 of 60
"abruptly announced his retirement in 2005"

Apple announced Rubinstein's "retirement" on the same day it announced Cook's elevation (ha!) to COO. (Following his "retirement," he spent a year at Apple, twiddling his thumbs and waiting for his non-compete to run out.) In any case, it's been reported on the Web with quotes from him, that he was against turning the iPod into an iPhone. Note that according to Jobs, iPhone development began in mid-2004, 2.5 years before its debut in Jan 2007.

I'd almost believed his story that he just wanted to retire to a house on the beach. But this CEO-ship makes me think he is truly ambitious, which when combined with Jobs picking Cook to move up to the 2nd rank spot of COO instead of him, makes it plausible to think he was pushed out.

So I think "abruptly" is an appropriate word to use.
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post #13 of 60
They're gonna be sorry when they realize Jobs installed a kill switch in Rubenstein, back when he was at Apple.

It's all "Hey, that's great, new opportunities, you go get 'em!" until they start to compete with Apple, then Boom! Aneurism.
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post #14 of 60
Steve is going to be crying over this. Wahh!!!!
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post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Welcome to the forums. Hes actually making fun of the people that dont realize the simple truth you stated.


The english term is "sarcasm" from the French "sarcasme"
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by taigebu View Post


(excuse me for my english I'm french...)

yor anglish is batteer than mind. i am amerrica educaded.
post #17 of 60
Palm has NO excuse for the Pre not being 100% compatible with iTunes.
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I'm not surprised. Jon probably made this deal when he first signed with Palm. Chances are Palm will fall flat on its face. Microsoft would not buy Palm because they're about to release WM7 next year. RIM won't buy them because they have no reason to. The people that buy BB's are not interested in pretty interfaces but email and encryption. Dell could buy them, but why? They would be far more successful in using Android or WM. Palm will not be around in five years. Everyone will have copied the best of their OS and not have to buy them out.

I can't wait for the day when Palm goes under and Rubenstein is looking for a job elsewhere and he doesn't have any more Apple ideas to peddle. Suck it, Jon!

nah, i hope that they do ok, it can only mean that the iPhone will have to keep improving.
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post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

nah, i hope that they do ok, it can only mean that the iPhone will have to keep improving.

I truly agree with this. So far, the rest of the 'smart'phones haven't measured up to Apple in any significant way - I think it took Pre to push Apple to focus on making some changes to the iPhone that they could/should have long ago (e.g., c/c/p). Also, Pre seems to be focused on both the software as well as the hardware experience, unlike the others.
post #20 of 60
palm is probably bad news for HTC, nokia, LG, Samsung and any other brand X phone maker

The Pre will probably be a nice brand like iphone and blackberry. it's all the other no name phones that it will probably take business from.
post #21 of 60
Speaking as an Apple fan/user, I hardly care.
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

They're gonna be sorry when they realize Jobs installed a kill switch in Rubenstein, back when he was at Apple.

It's all "Hey, that's great, new opportunities, you go get 'em!" until they start to compete with Apple, then Boom! Aneurism.

You sir are a genius. I'm going to start the script today. Yeah ...it'll sound a little Manchurian Candidate'ish but we'll toss in some naked ladies and a cute pet.


Good job upgrade for Ruby though listening to that guy talk makes me want to say "whatever is in your mouth blocking the wind...get it out!"
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post #23 of 60
Jon isn't going to steal squat. He's a nice guy and was a joy to chat with at work, but his role AI is citing is far from factual and overblown.
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I truly agree with this. So far, the rest of the 'smart'phones haven't measured up to Apple in any significant way - I think it took Pre to push Apple to focus on making some changes to the iPhone that they could/should have long ago (e.g., c/c/p). Also, Pre seems to be focused on both the software as well as the hardware experience, unlike the others.

I disagree. There is really no evidence that Apple's done anything to change their current path. If Palm does influence Apple, we'll see it next year with OS 4.0. If Palm really did scare Apple, we would see a sloppy patchwork for background tasks as was rumored. I don't mind if there is a serious competitor to the iPhone, I do mind that that a company like Palm tries to copy and piggyback Apple + iTunes to the extent that it has.
post #25 of 60
The Pre is $299. Some retailers are offering a $100 rebate.
post #26 of 60
It's funny how now all of a sudden, Jon Rubenstein has become an enemy to all the Mac fanatics around here.

Because, you know, someone who once worked at Apple is never allowed to work at another corporation that may be more suitable for them.

I wonder what would happen if Johnny Ive left Apple tomorrow to go work for Microsoft? Would he be worse than Satan?
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quillz View Post

I wonder what would happen if Johnny Ive left Apple tomorrow to go work for Microsoft? Would he be worse than Satan?

Yes ... except if he was part of an Apple conspiracy to destroy MS from the inside
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post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quillz View Post

e is never allowed to work at another corporation that may be more suitable for them.

I wonder what would happen if Johnny Ive left Apple tomorrow to go work for Microsoft? Would he be worse than Satan?

We'd tar and feather him.
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post #29 of 60
I totally TOTALLY saw this happening!

They shoulda kicked that idiot Colligan to the curb sooner. I wonder though if they are making Rubenstein CEO a little too late.
Anyways, good luck to him.

The first thing Rubenstein should do as CEO is put a muzzle on that hippie McNamee and prohibit him from going on any more talk shows promoting the Pre! McNamee talks too much!
post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

I totally TOTALLY saw this happening!

They shoulda kicked that idiot Colligan to the curb sooner. I wonder though if they are making Rubenstein CEO a little too late.
Anyways, good luck to him.

The first thing Rubenstein should do as CEO is put a muzzle on that hippie McNamee and prohibit him from going on any more talk shows promoting the Pre! McNamee talks too much!

+1 I was like "who is this guy?"

then I saw that he writes big checks.
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post #31 of 60
Here's a website with more incredibly crazy quotes from Colligan.
http://prepoint.wordpress.com/2009/0...l-ed-colligan/

“In my opinion, the Foleo is going to be most successful and the most significant product that Palm has done.”

"I think people are buying Centros for different reasons [than the iPhone]. They’re [Centros] easier to use, they’re a little less pretentious, they are smaller form factor. They’ve got a full keyboard for doing data entry."
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post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

At least with Rubenstein on board, we can hopefully see better products and more intelligent management on Palm. Colligan and his cronies practically burned Palm into the ground and left a lot of developers (me included) really pissed off. Colligan should have been ejected ages ago.

I don't think Palm has much of a chance at this stage. The Pre may go down in history as the right device but at the wrong time. Nonetheless, it will be fun sitting back and watching the action. If anyone can pull it off, it may very well be Rubenstein.

I knew this was going to happen.....Rubenstein being made CEO I mean. Yup, Colligan is an idiot....ok to be fair he probably had sense and vision once but not anymore. He has been acting like an idiot for the last several years and I can only hope he hasn't made any decisions recently that might further damage Palm now that it has a chance again with its new WebOS.
Again I must say that I also hope Jon Rubenstein puts a muzzle on that idiot McNamee.
post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quillz View Post

It's funny how now all of a sudden, Jon Rubenstein has become an enemy to all the Mac fanatics around here.

Because, you know, someone who once worked at Apple is never allowed to work at another corporation that may be more suitable for them.

I wonder what would happen if Johnny Ive left Apple tomorrow to go work for Microsoft? Would he be worse than Satan?

And I think it's funny how a certain kind of person always focuses in on a handful of posts as if they characterize the forum, when a simple reading of the thread shows most people are glad for Palm having decent leadership, don't care, or are making jokes.

But I understand. The sort of person that broods over "Mac fanatics" finds them everywhere, monolithic, chanting, mindless.

Because Mac derangement syndrome is a savage taskmaster. Your work is never done.
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post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post

Here's a website with more incredibly crazy quotes from Colligan.
http://prepoint.wordpress.com/2009/0...l-ed-colligan/

In my opinion, the Foleo is going to be most successful and the most significant product that Palm has done.

"I think people are buying Centros for different reasons [than the iPhone]. Theyre [Centros] easier to use, theyre a little less pretentious, they are smaller form factor. Theyve got a full keyboard for doing data entry."

Well, he is gone now.

Now I have a feeling Jon being made CEO was like taking the leash off of a pitbull. I hope Jon pulls out all the stops and really starts innovating like mad!
The second thing I would do if I was Jon (after he puts a muzzle on McNamee) is get that SDK out as soon as possible. He needs to make it a full SDK that lets the developer do more with the pre (or any WebOS device) than iphone devs can do with the iphone.

He needs to totally attack Apple's weaknesses when it comes to developer relations. Because as much as iphone devs love what they do they are also thoroughly annoyed at Apple about certain things.
"Why was my app denied from the app store?" "For god's sake Apple talk to me and tell me what I need to do to get my app approved!!!!"

I wonder how many times iphone devs has asked this question with no feedback whatsover by Apple.

That arrogance by Apple is a weakspot Rubenstein can exploit if he is shrewd enough. How about an NDA with Palm developers that doesn't seem like a witness protection program?

No wait, I don't want to write too long a post here. There are numerous points of weakness on the iPhone platform that Palm can take advantage of. I just hope Jon is truly smarter than Colligan as I suspect.

If so that I think Palm really has a chance now.

Better competition, better products (from Apple and Palm), the consumer wins.
post #35 of 60
Apple recently made a statement about vigorously defending their intellectual property. I wonder how long it will be before we see a lawsuit directed at Palm? If nothing else it could slow them down and make them poison for a takeover in the near term.

I'm not so sure Palm will fail at the smart phone game. It's a big market and growing. People like choices. There may be enough of an old Palm fan base out there to keep it going long enough for them to innovate some distance between themselves and the competition. Apple will always have a huge advantage with their entire ecosystem, so I don't see Palm as ever being the majority player in this space.
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post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Jon isn't going to steal squat. He's a nice guy and was a joy to chat with at work, but his role AI is citing is far from factual and overblown.

You work at Apple?
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjei View Post

You work at Apple?

He's an old NeXT guy that was in the trenches with John Connor...er Steve Jobs.
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post #38 of 60
I think that Palm's best shot with the Pre is to have a open proprietary architecture with an open value chain. It would mean making the phone available with multiple bands, radios like GSM, UMTS/3G, CDMA/EVDO, etc. Carriers can do their own subsidies. Allow the software developers to give or sell apps directly to the Pre customer... yes, even Porn. Of course the SDK needs to be out soon. Allow the customer to add higher capacity batteries, DRAM and Flash memory.

That was basically the Microsoft model... except the OS is not being licensed. Allows for better hardware and software integration.

Palm needs to play by different rules.
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Again I must say that I also hope Jon Rubenstein puts a muzzle on that idiot McNamee.

McNamee is a major venture capitalist. He invested $425 million into Palm and helped to make this happen. He has a huge stake in its success.

Please don't spout utter nonsense.
post #40 of 60
Except Apple didn't invent touch screens or anything else on the iPhone. The Pre can do all the touch-based interfaces it wants so long as it's not directly copying Apple's patented Multi-Touch, which it isn't.

Frankly, people here should be hoping the Pre is a massive success. It drives competition, forcing better products and lower prices for customers, no matter what product they end up buying. If the Pre and any other phone fails, Apple will have a monopoly on this sort of thing and thus see little reason to improve their products. People moan and complain about Microsoft's monopoly, without realizing that an Apple monopoly is just as bad.
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