Beleaguered Palm’s executive exodus continues; CEO Rubinstein about to get axed?

Apple Online Store “Palm has seen better days. Following the departure of senior vice president of software, Michael Abbott (who landed at Twitter), the company has been offering packages to try and keep other executives around,” MG Siegler reports for TechCrunch. “That may not be working so well.”

“Caitlin Spaan, Palm’s vice president of carrier marketing will be leaving the company shortly as well, we’ve learned,” Siegler reports. “This was likely not an easy decision to make for Spaan, she’s been with the company for 14 years.”

Full article here.

Erick Schonfeld reports for TechCrunch, “Palm right now is a disaster. Its sales are going nowhere, its market share is plummeting, and try as it might, it can’t even find a buyer. Industry sources tell us that a major restructuring and management shakeup is imminent and CEO Jon Rubinstein may be replaced.”

“Palm clearly needs to be bought at this point if it is going to survive, and Rubinstein may not be the right person to make that sale,” Schonfeld reports. “Rubinstein came from Apple, where he was head of hardware. He was recruited by Palm’s biggest investor Elevation Partners. Rubinstein is great engineer, but not a great marketer. It appears he is having trouble selling Palm, even as a distressed asset.”

Schonfeld reports, “The writing is on the wall.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The writing’s been on the wall for quite some time now. For example, here’s what we wrote over 15 months ago, just after beleaguered Palm unveiled their Palm Pre and webOS: Palm’s Pre dog and pony show is nothing more than takeover bait. They simply do not have the resources necessary to create another mobile platform, especially one that is superfluous. If Palm’s Pre is not a ruse, then those responsible are kidding themselves.MacDailyNews Take, January 21, 2009


  1. Maybe potential Palm buyers are waiting for the time when Palm sells off its assets in pieces. It’s patent portfolio. WebOS. Hardware design. Etc. When things get REALLY bad.

    If you bought the whole company, you’d have to support current Palm Pre and Pixie customers, since most those phones are still under contract with the carrier for two years.

  2. Industry sources tell us that a major restructuring and management shakeup is imminent

    …is that “imminent” as in the “imminent” announcements of Mac OS X updates we’ve seen in the recent past? Because then it might take a few more months. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Well, I was wrong. (Wr…wr..wraaoooohhnggggg as Fonzie would say)…

    Last May or so, I said Palm wouldn’t last the summer. Then I said they wouldn’t last the year (2009).

    I guess I’m just as lousy a tech analyst as the rest of the tech analyists.

    My new prediction: Palm won’t last the year ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Too bad, tho, they used to have some pretty cool stuff.

  4. What do you know…

    Ed Colligan, PALM’s previously ousted CEO was right after all…

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

    Right sentiment… but applied to the Wrong Guy and Wrong Company! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Ok. Let’s be clear here.

    The Palm Pre is going to kill the iPhone because the iPhone does not have multi-tasking, and the Pre does. End of story.

    … What’s that? [garbled whispering]

    Ok, I’m back. Let me correct that. The HP Slate is going to kill the iPad because the iPad does not have Flash, and the HP Slate does.

    End of story.


    [MDN Magic word: “Justice.” As in… “THERE IS JUSTICE!”

  6. C’mon MDN, can’t you expand your vocabulary just a bit and stop overusing the word “Beleaguered”?

    You know, there’s this cool thesaurus widget you should download…

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