Palm named executive chairman Jon Rubinstein as its new chairman and CEO Wednesday afternoon. Rubinstein, who takes the helm just days after Palm's launch of the Pre smartphone, succeeds longtime Palm player Ed Colligan.
Rubinstein joined Palm as executive chairman in October 2007 after leaving Apple in 2006, where he was the senior vice president of the company's iPod division. Rubinstein will take over the top spot at Palm on Friday, the company said in a statement.
Colligan, a 16-year Palm veteran, helped steer the company through a wide range of challenges, and oversaw the development of the Pre and its accompanying operating system, webOS. Palm is hoping that the Pre and webOS will help it return to smartphone prominence in a market that is significantly more crowded than when the company introduced the Palm Pilot and Palm OS in the 1990s.
Palm said Colligan will take some time off and then join Elevation Partners, which took a 25 percent stake in Palm in 2007. Palm's stock was up 68 cents per share to $12.67 in morning trading.
"We think Palm investors should view this transition as a positive," J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in a note to clients. "We believe Mr. Rubinstein has been the guiding force behind the Palm Pre and the webOS."
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