Former Apple hardware chief appointed as Palm's new CEO

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Apple's doooooooooomed
  • Reply 2 of 59
    taigebutaigebu Posts: 9member
    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...)
  • Reply 3 of 59
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    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!"
  • Reply 4 of 59
    winterspanwinterspan Posts: 605member
    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!
  • Reply 5 of 59
    macfandavemacfandave Posts: 603member
    Benedict Arnold.
  • Reply 6 of 59
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    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!
  • Reply 7 of 59
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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. He?s actually making fun of the people that don?t realize the simple truth you stated.
  • Reply 8 of 59
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,500member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 59
    taigebutaigebu Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Welcome to the forums. He?s actually making fun of the people that don?t realize the simple truth you stated.



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



    Thank you for welcoming me in the forums
  • Reply 10 of 59
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Rubenstein v Jobs death-match... good times.
  • Reply 11 of 59
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    "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.
  • Reply 12 of 59
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 59
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
    Steve is going to be crying over this. Wahh!!!!
  • Reply 14 of 59
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Welcome to the forums. He?s actually making fun of the people that don?t realize the simple truth you stated.





    The english term is "sarcasm" from the French "sarcasme"
  • Reply 15 of 59
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 59
    Palm has NO excuse for the Pre not being 100% compatible with iTunes.
  • Reply 17 of 59
    sennensennen Posts: 1,465member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,058member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 59
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 59
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Speaking as an Apple fan/user, I hardly care.
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