Rubinstein ascends the CEO throne at Palm

It’s the changing of the guard. In an continuation of Palm’s reinvention of itself, pioneering ex-Apple exec and Pre torch-bearer Jon Rubinstein will be sitting in the CEO chair at Palm come Friday (the 12th). Ed Cooligan, the current CEO, will be moving behind the curtain to work with Elevation Partners, a major investor in Palm .

Whether they bet the job on the success of the Pre or had it arranged months ago, it’s probably a good step for Palm to take: the smaller and more agile Palm with its new OS and design will likely function better under the guy who was instrumental in that change.

Rubinstein worked at Apple from ’97 to ’06, and was most recently General Manager of their iPod division before going over to the Palm side. You can bet he took a lot of Apple lore with him over to Palm; it’s no coincidence that the new Palm device manages to have an Apple-ish flair without biting on the iPhone too directly.

From Reuters:

Jonathan J. Rubinstein has served as one of Palm Inc directors and Executive Chairman since October 2007. Prior to joining Palm, from February 1997 to April 2006, Mr. Rubinstein was a Senior Vice President at Apple, Inc., a provider of personal computing devices and related software and peripherals, and served most recently as the General Manager of the iPod Division. Mr. Rubinstein earned a B.S. and an M.Eng in electrical engineering from Cornell University and an M.S. in computer science from Colorado State University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.