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.
Jon Rubinstein is a senior VP and general manager at Hewlett-Packard, following its 2010 acquisition of Palm, where he was CEO. Rubinstein left his position as senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division on April 14, 2006. He became executive chairman of the board at Palm, Inc. after private equity firm Elevation Partners completed a significant investment in the handheld manufacturer in October 2007. He is currently the CEO of Palm, Inc., replacing former CEO Ed Colligan. Rubinstein is married...
Palm, Inc. was a leading mobile products company, creating instinctive yet powerful mobile products that enabled people to better manage their lives on the go. The company’s products for consumers, mobile professionals and businesses included Palm Treo and Centro smartphones and Palm handheld computers, as well as software, services and accessories. In July 2010, Palm was acquired by HP. The Palm brand was subsequently discontinued upon the introduction of webOS products under the HP brand.