Position: Executive chairman, Palm
Location: Sunnyvale, Calif.
If there is one person that can reverse Palm’s fortunes and put it back on top of the smart phone world, it’s Jon Rubinstein, whose name may ring a bell for Apple fans: He was on the engineering team that conceived the iPod and later stood as head of the entire iPod division. He also led the group of Apple engineers that developed the first colorful iMac.
Today, Rubinstein puts the same leadership and creativity into the mobile handset business at Palm, where he heads up the company’s product development efforts. Rubinstein came on board just as Palm was putting the finishing touches on the Centro, and it’s no coincidence that CEO Ed Colligan has said that this device has a higher sell-through rate than any other smart phone to leave Palm’s doors. It blew past the one-million mark in March. There’s no doubt that success runs through Rubinstein’s veins, and the fate of Palm depends on it through the company’s complete overhaul of the Treo, which will debut next year.
Did You Know: In 2007, the iPod generated $8.3 billion in revenue. Palm’s revenue for 2007 was $410.5 million.