Former Palm CEO John Rubinstein Joins Amazon's Board

Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein was elected to join Amazon’s board, the company announced today via an SEC filing. Rubisntein is currently a senior VP and general manager at Hewlett-Packard, following HP’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm earlier this year.

Before joining Palm, Rubinstein was in charge of Apple’s iPod division and was the company’s senior hardware executive. At Palm, he tried to take on his former employer by developing WebOS smartphones which compete with the iPhone. Going after Apple took him off Steve Jobs’ Christmas list.

Amazon also competes directly with Apple on various fronts, including music and movie downloads and digital books. Rubinstein’s experience at Apple with the iPod and how the iTunes Store operated, although a bit dated now, could prove useful to Amazon as it tries to move from selling physical to digital media.

Rubinstein will become only the fifth member of Amazon’s unusually small board. He will join Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Madrona VC Tom Alberg, Kleiner Perkins VC Bing Gordon, and academic John Seely Brown.