Ed Colligan out; Jon Rubinstein appointed CEO of beleaguered Palm

Palm, Inc. today announced that its board of directors has appointed Jon Rubinstein to lead the company as Chairman and CEO upon the departure of Ed Colligan, who is stepping down after sixteen years of leadership at the company. Rubinstein, who joined Palm as Executive Chairman in October 2007 to help bring innovation back to the company, assumes his role as CEO on June 12. Colligan plans to take some time off, then join Elevation Partners.

“I am very excited about taking on this expanded role at Palm,” said Rubinstein in the press release. “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. 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. 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.”

“I’m very proud of what Palm has accomplished so far,” said Colligan in the press release. “We pioneered two major product categories and I believe we are on our way to defining the standard for the mobile web. I’m extremely proud of our team, and grateful to have played a role in turning Palm around. I know that Jon, the Board and the Palm executive team will do an incredible job driving Palm to new heights.”

Source: Palm, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Ed’s proud that he drove Palm to the brink of bankruptcy, apparently. Pioneered which two “major product categories,” exactly, Ed? PDA? Sorry, Apple pioneered that one with the Newton. You know that. What’s the other one? Buying Handspring for the Treo? Devices that feel like they’re about to fall apart? Cornering the market on Apple castoffs?

Reality and Ed have never met.

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.Palm CEO Ed Colligan, commenting on then-rumored Apple iPhone, Nov. 16, 2006

As for Rubinstein’s press release quote, he’s either a) been asleep since Monday morning; b) delusional; c) still trolling for a takeover; or d) all of the above.

Jon et al., competing against Apple is tough enough, but Steve Jobs with a grudge is bad, bad news.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacVicta” for the heads up.]

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