Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein “has managed to stir up plenty of trouble for the company with a brief aside at a CES Q&A session that has now taken on a life of its own,” Bobbie Johnson reports for The Guardian. “In an on-stage discussion at the show, Rubinstein told Kara Swisher from AllThingsD said that he had never used an iPhone: ‘We don’t pay that much attention to Apple – I know it sounds really strange,’ he said. ‘I don’t have an iPhone. I’ve never even used one.'”
“Coming from any other phone maker positioning itself as a rival to Apple, that might seem like hubris,” Johnson reports. “Coming from Rubinstein – who was one of Steve Jobs’s closest lieutenants until he left Apple in 2006 – it seems like something else.”
“Rubinstein, who took a hands-on role in product development when he arrived at Palm, is a private man,” Johnson reports. “He spent years working alongside Jobs and was one of the major architects of the iPod project, which is what really helped Apple overturn its troubles and surge back to success.”
Johnson reports, “So his iPhone comment is strange. Is Rubinstein suggesting that he never saw an iPhone while he worked at Apple? Or is he saying that, in the 18-month downtime, this technology industry veteran of more than 30 years didn’t have any interest in Apple’s new handset? It’s not even like he was working for Palm when the iPhone was launched: famously, he took a long holiday until he was tempted to get back into the race in October 2007.”
Full article here.
Video of Rubinstein’s statements here.
MacDailyNews Take: Do you believe Jon? If so, he’s just admitted to dereliction of duty. CEOs who are properly performing their jobs need to keep up with their competitors’ products. In fact, they should be intimately familiar with how their competitors’ products work, how they’re constructed, etc. so that they can plan their company’s competitive strategies. This comment is even more eyebrow arching, since Palm’s current products wouldn’t even exist without Apple’s iPhone.
Jon’s comment says quite a bit more than he probably intended: He’s either a liar or an incompetent or, most likely, both.
See, Jon? It’s not that easy to run a company, now is it? After Palm is finally bought by an even bigger fool than you (good luck with that search) or goes tits up like it should’ve two years ago, why don’t you go back to Mexico, sit on the beach, and repeat: “I’m no Steve Jobs; not even close. I’m not even CEO material. I’m no Steve Jobs; not even close. I blew it bigtime when I left Apple. I’m no Steve Jobs; not even close…”