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Palm in major shakeup? Rubinstein possibly out

updated 06:00 pm EDT, Fri April 23, 2010

Palm may be in radical exec shakeup

Palm is in the middle of a major corporate shuffle that could see its CEO Jon Rubinstein out, a major rumor argued this evening. The new structure and any other departures weren't mentioned by the TechCrunch source, but the move itself would invariably be a reaction to dropping smartphone sales. Palm hasn't had an opportunity to respond.

The rumors would be indirectly supported by SEC filings that showed Palm paying $250,000 bonuses to keep certain executives onboard. Carrier marketing VP Caitlin Spaan is already rumored to be leaving.

Rubinstein was brought on to Palm in 2007 to help advise the company on its strategy, particularly on the hardware side. He has regularly been credited with using his experience at Apple to simplify Palm's lineup and give it a more iconic design language that first showed up in the Centro and Treo Pro. Many engineers hired at Palm in Rubinstein's presence have been former Apple developers, and much of the company's marketing strategy has also reflected the influence.

Some of this reengineering has resulted in favorable reviews for webOS devices but seldom translated into sales, in part because of Palm's launch strategy. The Palm Pre arrived just days before the unveiling of the iPhone 3GS and was made a Sprint exclusive for several months in 2009, pushing a Verizon expansion to after the Droid launch and likely costing valuable early adopter sales.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Maybe Jon will get an iPhone now?

    I can't believe his idiotic statement a few weeks ago about how he'd never used an iPhone. How do you not evaluate the competition? Design does not occur in a vacuum. Well, maybe if you are Palm it does, and maybe that's why they've hit an iceberg and are slowly sinking into oblivion.

    Bub-bye Jon. Enjoy retirement!

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One trick pony...

    And that is the problem with the Palm-Rubinstein-wannabe machine.
    You can't duplicate Apple's success by hiring one person or even a couple people. Apple is an entire family and ecosystem that can deliver several hits back-to-back-to-back. Rubinstein was only good for his one trick - trying to copy something that he was only a part of developing. Now that the Pre has fallen flat on its face, where is Rubinstein and Palm's next big idea or phenom??

  1. Gazoobee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    intolerant goofs

    Only two comments and they are intolerant snipes at Jon Rubinstein?
    Wow. Very classy guys.

    Rubinstein never was the problem and the Web OS is a far better design than Android any day of the week. And people wonder why no one ever exerts themselves anymore. If you get shot down like this for trying to offer a decent alternative I can see why.

    Anyone who likes technology, gadgets, and esp. phones and pocket computers should feel sorry for Palm and Rubinstein. If he does get pushed out, it's almost certainly because he ki-boshed the HTC deal, which was a brave move IMO. The last thing the industry needs is an aggressive c*** competitor like HTC with a bunch of patents in their fists.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I only feel sorry for low-level Palm employees

    who'll be the first to be let go while the high-and-mighty execs are given golden handcuffs. They should get handcuffs alright. Police issue handcuffs for letting the company get into such bad shape over the last six years or so. They didn't give a c*** about their user base and couldn't be bothered to update their smartphone line. Sitting back on laurels gets a little too comfortable and the next thing you know, the world has passed you by. Palm had a small and nimble company and if they'd just worked a bit harder they probably would have been a solid company. Same with Motorola. Keep pushing the same product year after year and maybe change the color just won't cut it.

    Rubinstein wasn't the problem. The problem existed long before he got to Palm. A CEO like Ed Colligan was the problem.

  1. Tofino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yet another opportunity to quote ed colligan

    "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone, PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."

    ah yes. still brings a smile to my face. even after 3 years...

  1. eli77025

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quality of Palm Pre Plus

    Palm can talk all it wants about launches and other complaints but in the end, it's the quality of the product that wins out.

    My wife and I bought 2 Pre Plus' 3 weeks ago. The battery, in standby, with Wi-Fi off, lasts about 24 hours, with little phone use and no apps. Research now shows that the phone is infamous for poor battery life. (I know, I should have checked this out before buying the phone>)

    It's going back to Verizon today in favor of a different phone. Palm just lost 2 customers

  1. facebook_Francis

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2010


    Palm likes to shoot itself in the foot

    Palm basically invented the netbook (rembember the Foleo) and shut it down before delivering it. With WebOS, they seem to have done some great work, which should have been made available for licensing when Android was still a minor player. Always one step behind it seems.

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Palm is in trouble?!? I thought the Foleo saved it.

    Geez, I'm surprised more genius ideas like this, didn't save Palm:

    Random acts of wow! Random acts of zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

    Stickers, stickers! Get 'yer stickers!

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