Palm's Executive Shakeup

Ed Colligan out as CEO, former Apple exec in

The next salvo in the smart phone battle has been fired, and Palm is becoming more like Apple by the day. Not just the hardware, but in the executive suite, too.

The cool, hot-selling touchscreen Pre has been called the first legitimate smartphone competitor to the iPhone.  But the company didn't stop there.

The company also says its current CEO, Ed Colligan, who served 16 years at Palm, will step down, to be replaced by Jon Rubinstein.  Rubinstein came to Palm a year and a half ago from Apple, where he oversaw the company's iPod division. He was a trusted lieutenant of CEO Steve Jobs, and joined the company when Apple bought Next, the software company Jobs started in between his two stints at Apple.

Palm has hired several Apple veterans, including engineers and a PR chief. The poaching once reached such a boil that the famously mercurial Jobs reportedly called Rubinstein and chewed him out over the employee-snatching.

Colligan says he'll join Elevation Partners, the Silicon Valley private equity firm that has a big stake in Palm. Expect Rubinstein to have Palm looking and acting more like Apple by the day.

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