Rubinstein brings more than 30 years of experience in the mobile, computing, and consumer electronics industries, the chipmaker said, most notably as CEO of Palm. Rubinstein joined the company as executive chairman in 2007 and took over the role of CEO from June 2009 until it was bought by Hewlett-Packard in 2010.
Rubinstein then continued at HP, most recently leading product innovation for the personal systems group after the company largely wound down Palm's operations. Earlier in his career, Rubinstein ran Apple's iPod division and also served as senior vice president of hardware engineering at the Cupertino, Calif., electronics giant.
Rubinstein's appointment to Qualcomm's board is a logical pick. The company is the dominant provider of chips for smartphones, and it continues to expand its footprint in tablets and other devices. Rubinstein's experience at a handset vendor, as well as at a large computing company like HP, will help Qualcomm with its strategy.
The bulk of Qualcomm's board members have limited experience in the technology sector. Other current members of the board include Susan Hockfield, president emerita of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Thomas W. Horton, president of AMR and American Airlines; and Francisco Ros, president of business consulting firm First International Partners.