Jon Rubinstein takes over Palm Inc.

Remains executive chairman at smartphone company

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Jon Rubinstein, a former executive behind Apple Inc.'s iPod, on Wednesday was named chief executive of smartphone maker Palm Inc., replacing Ed Colligan who is stepping down after 16 years with the company.

The appointment, effective Friday, comes just days after Palm launched the $200 Pre, a well-regarded rival to Apple's blockbuster iPhone device.

Rubinstein, 53, will remain executive chairman, a post he assumed in October 2007 to help bring innovation back to the company. He said in a statement he was excited about his expanded role.

"With Palm webOS we have 10-plus years of innovation ahead of us, and the Palm Pre is already one of the year's hottest new products," he said.

Palm said Colligan, who had also served as president, plans to take some time off before joining Menlo Park, Calif.-based private equity firm Elevation Partners.

Palm shares rose 21 cents to $12.20 in after-hours trading, after closing down 71 cents, or 5.6%, at $11.99.

Apple shares fell $2.47 to close the regular session at $140.25.
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