Apple retains ex-iPod VP Rubinstein as consultant

“Apple Computer Inc. said Friday it hired Jonathan Rubinstein as a consultant after he resigned as senior vice president of the company’s iPod music player division. The April 14 resignation was disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday… He is being succeeded by Tony Fadell, who joined the iPod engineering team in 2001 and was promoted to head of engineering for the iPod group in 2004, Fadell reports to Chief Executive Steve Jobs,” Reuters reports.

“Apple… said Rubinstein, through his J.R. Ruby Consulting Corp., agreed to make himself available for an average of one business day per week until April 16, 2007. He will be paid a ‘non-material’ flat fee, Apple said,” Reuters reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: During the 1990s, Fadell started his own company called Fuse to develop consumer hardware devices. One of the devices he had in mid to develop was a portable hard disk-based music player. Fadell’s Fuse failed, so to find capital, Fadell started shopping the idea to other companies to see if they would be interested in developing such a product. He first approached Rob Glaser’s RealNetworks in 2000, but left after only six weeks. The second company he approached was Apple. John Markoff, for the New York Times, reported in April 2004 that “RealNetworks had been trying to develop consumer electronics products based on the company’s RealPlayer software program. Mr. Fadell, however, lasted only six weeks at the company because, his friends said, he did not see eye to eye with Mr. Glaser, the chief executive. As a result, several former Apple employees suggested, Mr. Glaser might have allowed an iPod-like hit product to slip through his fingers.” Damn those greasy Krispy Kremes!

Apple’s Jon Rubinstein bio page remains online here:

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Related article:
Tim Cook named COO of Apple, Jon Rubinstein to retire March 31 and be succeeded by Tony Fadell – October 14, 2005
NY Times: Real’s Glaser was close to having iPod before Apple, but let it slip through his fingers – April 24, 2004


  1. Hahaha Rob Glaser is a slimeball anyway and the fact of the matter they can’t get the capital anyway

    I knew there was a story about some engineer who took the iPod concept to Apple. Thanks for filling in the blanks there MDN.

    Lesson to be learned folks, you can have great idea for a product, but without the big bucks you can’t do squat.

    Oh go to Apple in the first place if you do.

  2. cynic wrote:
    >Just lucky Fadell wasn’t a little kid, otherwise Apple would have rejected the idea and sent him a lawyer nastigram.<

    Good one, Microsoft!

    If you had software writers this good, you wouldn’t need to hire professional a-holes. But you don’t, so…

  3. If MDN knew anything about how corporate executives are compensated, MDN should have pointed out that hiring a leaving executive as a consultant is par for the course these days.

    The ostensible justification is to pay the departed executive to advise their successors on open or ongoing matters, but in reality these consultant agreements are just part of the executive’s severance package.

    The departed executive gets more money, and the company ensures the executive poses no competition for at least a year. The contract length also ensures that any skeletons in the closet remain buried until they (and the executive) become yesterday’s news and no longer matter.

    The acid test of whether any consulting agreement is real or not is: accountability. Are the consultant’s performance, time sheets, status reports, and invoices being monitored to ensure compliance with the agreed contract?

    The fact that Rubinstein is being paid a flat fee argues against this being a real consultancy contract. Instead, it’s most likely a sweetheart deal. Rubinstein’s got the money in the bank. No reviews, no accountability, no contractual disputes or delayed invoice payments. All Rubinstein has to do is show up one day a week, or answer some phone calls and emails, for a year, and he’s done.

    Sweet money if you can get it, but this is not a real consulting contract.

    And neither MDN nor Reuters saw fit to point any of this out? And MDN instead peddles some twaddle about Tony Fadell? For shame…

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