Appleis former iPod division leader, Jon Rubinstein, and former CFO Fred Anderson will be joining Palmis board of directors as part of an investment deal with the equity firm Elevation Partners. The deal will leave Elevation with about 25 percent of the PDA and smartphone makeris stock, and will out current board members Eric Benhamou and D. Scott Mercer.
Mr. Rubinstein joined Apple in 1997 as senior vice president of hardware engineering. He was instrumental in the development of the iMac and iPod, and ran Appleis then-new iPod division when it was created in 2004. Mr. Rubinstein left Apple in March 2006.
Mr. Anderson served as Appleis executive vice president and chief financial officer from 1996 through 2004. Later that year he returned to the company as a member of the board of directors.
After leaving the Apple board, he was the focus of an SEC investigation into improperly back dated stock option grants at Apple. Mr. Anderson struck a deal with the government that allowed him to continue serving as a corporate officer or board member for other publicly traded companies. He is also a co-founder and managing director of Elevation Partners.
Palm has been struggling lately to develop new and innovative products to remain competitive in the smartphone market. Its popular Treo has been considered a market leader, but hasnit seen significant updates for some time. Last week, the company announced the Foleo "smartphone companion" to mixed reactions.
Palm has been plagued with business missteps over the past few years, and the addition of Mr. Rubinstein and Mr. Anderson is seen as a step to help revitalize the companyis product line up. Many, however, fear that they are coming onboard too late to help out.
The deal with Elevation is awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval. Assuming the approval process goes as expected, the deal should be completed in the third quarter of 2007.