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Qualcomm elects "The Podfather" to board

Qualcomm on Tuesday said it had elected to its board of directors Jon Rubinstein, the chairman and CEO of Palm at the time of its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Jon as a member of Qualcomm's board of directors. His experience in creating revolutionary consumer electronics and mobile products will provide added insight to Qualcomm's board as we continue to expand the scope and impact of wireless products and technology, improving and enhancing people's lives around the world," Qualcomm chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs said in a statement.

Rubinstein, who holds masters degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, began his career in technology with local computer companies in Ithaca, New York, before joining HP in the early 1980s to work on manufacturing processes and workstations.

In 1990, he joined Steve Job's NeXT, later re-joining Jobs in Cupertino when the late Apple chief returned to the company he founded. At Apple, Rubinstein was credited with leading the teams that designed and engineered the original iMac and iPod.

Known by this time as "The Podfather" for his role in directing the massively successful iPod division for Apple, Rubinstein went on to join Palm as executive chairman of the board in 2007. During his tenure there he oversaw the development of Palm's webOS mobile operating system and the Palm Pre smartphone. Rubenstein was named CEO of Palm in June 2009.

After HP acquired Palm for $2.1 billion (£1.4 billion) in 2010, Rubinstein directed HP's Palm Global Business Unit as senior VP and general manager, overseeing the development and release of the Touchpad tablet. Rubinstein left HP in January 2012 at the conclusion of a 24-month contract, with the failure of the Touchpad and HP's near abandonment of webOS among the few blotches on his an otherwise stellar record of success in a three-decade career in technology.

Rubinstein also founded Firepower Systems and sold it to Motorola in 1996. He was formerly a director of Immersion and currently sits on Amazon's board of directors.