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Former Apple CFO, iPod head join Palm

updated 03:00 pm EDT, Wed September 12, 2007

Palm OKs Partial Takeover

Palm's shareholders today greenlighted its recent plan for partial buyout of the company by private equity firm Elevation Partners, giving the company a 25 percent stake in the smartphone maker for about $325 million. Palm in return would pay about $9 per share, or $940 million, to shareholders to compensate for their reduced influence on the company. The deal would sharpen the company's performance through "renewed innovation and focused execution," according to Palm chief Ed Colligan. The company has recently been struggling to upgrade its lineup under current conditions, having just canceled the Foleo smartphone companion and running all of its non-Windows smartphones on aging PalmOS 5 software.

The move also brings two former Apple executives into the company's business. Jon Rubinstein, the former head of Apple's iPod division, has confirmed his place as executive chairman of the company's Board of Directors. Rubinstein will offer his own advice and help attract a fresh round of designers and engineers to "change the dynamics of the company," according to Colligan. Rubinstein is also known for leading the team that ultimately created the original iMac, which reversed Apple's sagging fortunes in the late 1990s.

Another Apple member will join the Board through Elevation Partners, the company noted. The Mac maker's former chief financial officer, Fred Anderson, will join Bay Area investor Roger McNamee as part of Palm's directing team and influence the company's financial direction. Anderson left Apple in late 2006 amidst an SEC investigation which questioned the company's approach to backdating stock options and which ultimately led to Anderson agreeing to a monetary settlement for his alleged role.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. wingdo

    Senior User

    Joined: Apr 2001


    fuzzy math?

    So Palm gets $325 mil in the 25% buyout, and pays the current shareholders $940 mil for the right to do so? Either the article's math is way off, or I understand why Palm is in financial trouble.

  1. njfuzzy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001


    Good point

    My guess is either...

    A.) Some journalist got their math wrong


    B.) The idea is to increase value overall by combining the "shareholder compensation" with something akin to a stock buyout-- in other words, the balance may be money the company would spend anyhow.

  1. Deal

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Apr 2001


    Customer Support

    Palm could increase customer satisfaction by hiring some human beings for customer support. A web page knowledge base just doesn't cut it!

  1. rok

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 1999


    re: former apple folks

    repeat after me, guys: "what would steve want?" start from there, and if it's ever a question of whether to add a feature or not, leave it for the next version.

    then you MIGHT just pull out of this tailspin.

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