Palm has announced that Jon Rubinstein will become the new chairman and CEO of the company, replacing Ed Colligan after 16 years at the helm. The news come just a few days after the launch of the Pre, and was apparently well received by investors, who clearly hope that the former Apple executive and head of the iPod division will usher in a new era for Palm. The company’s stock was up 12 percent, to $13.43 at the time of this writing.
Palm was one of the most popular tech companies around when the PDA was in its heyday, but its products have fallen out of favor as RIM's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone gained share in the smartphone market. For many industry observers, Rubinstein's appointment was not a surprise – the executive has been the guiding force behind the Pre and webOS, which are expected to play a big role in turning the company around.
It’s still a bit early to tell if that will be the case, but the general consensus so far seems to be that the Pre is a fine alternative to the iPhone. As for Colligan, he will take some time off and then join Elevation Partners, the private equity firm that has a 25 percent stake in Palm.