Former Apple VP Jon Rubinstein will be shifting from his role as chairman at Palm to the company’s new CEO. As many Apple fans already know, Rubinstein was a prominent member of Steve Jobs’ core team after his original founding of NeXT in the early ’90s.
Deep Ties With Apple
When Rubinstein moved to Apple at the request of Jobs in 1997, he diligently worked to bring the PowerMac G3 to market and simplify Apple’s product line in order to help turn the company around. His first big project was the creation of the iMac where he was responsible for some of its signature features, including USB peripherals and a lack of a floppy drive.
As VP of Hardware Engineering, Rubinstein was also responsible for overseeing the production of the G4 and G5 Macintoshes and became known as the man who explained “the megahertz myth.” As Apple began to shift its marketing strategy towards putting Macs at the center of the “digital lifestyle,” Rubinstein and his team were responsible for (under the direction of Jobs) the creation of the first iPod. When the success of the iPod began to take off, Apple spun this into its own division, with Rubinstein as the vice president in charge.
Life After Apple
Rubinstein left Apple in 2006 and eventually join Palm, leading its research and development efforts. With the talent and skills he put to use while at Apple at his disposal, it’s no wonder many see his latest project, the Palm Pre, as a seductive competitor to the iPhone.
All other opinions aside, it’s interesting to note that Rubinstein joined Palm when it was at a point similar to Apple, when Jobs and Rubinstein came over from NeXT in the ’90s. On the whole, the introduction of the Palm Pre, the new Palm webOS, and the leadership of Rubinstein as the company’s new CEO, all lead towards a very interesting direction for Palm and its impact as a competitor to Apple.