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.
This is still a rumor at this point, but it makes sense. Palm is suffering from a ton of unsold inventory, and it cannot keep up with Apple, Android, or Blackberry in the smartphone wars. 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. 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.
The writing is on the wall. Palm’s executive talent is already beginning to walk out the door. Palm still has some valuable assets in terms of products, patents, intellectual property, and a recognizable brand. But Rubinstein may not be the best person to make a sale happen. He was brought in to take on Apple, after all. Not to sell damaged goods.
I’ve reached out to Palm for comment.