Palm has announced that Jon Rubenstein will replace Ed Colligan as CEO of Palm. The change will officially take place on Friday.
Jon Rubenstein and Ed Colligan both have held pivotal roles in the mobile sector. Colligan has served at Palm for the past sixteen years, overseen the rise of the Palm, through thick and thin. At the high points, Colligan oversaw the rise of the Palm Pilot, and the Handspring merger that gave Palm the Treo. At the low points, Colligan was responsible for the ill-fated split of Palm into PalmSource and PalmOne, which allowed Palm OS to decay at the hands of ACCESS. Rubenstein’s track record can be summed up more easily; he implemented and oversaw the design of iPod and iPhone, taking Apple from a computer company to multimedia conglomerate.
Colligan will retire from Palm, and after a vacation, will become a board member at Elevation Partners. Elevation Partners, created by Rubenstein and Palm CFO Fred Anderson (who also served as Apple’s CFO, and briefly as CEO), owns a 25 percent stake in Palm. The Elevation Partners deal is largely credited for the recent turnaround in Palm’s outlook.