SEC STALKER: Palm Biting $7 Million Bullet To Swap CEOs

jon rubinstein

Palm (PALM) will pay new CEO Jon Rubinstein — the ex-Apple (AAPL) exec who’s been Palm’s Executive Chairman until now — a $850,000 base salary, the company said today in a filing to the SEC.

It’ll also target a $850,000 annual bonus, meaning his full-year compensation could hit $1.7 million. And he’ll get a boat load of options: 860,000 in different forms — stock options, “Palm performance shares,” and restricted stock rights — which vest over four years. At today’s stock price, those are worth about $12 million. Rubinstein’s job is to make sure they’re worth a lot more in four years. (Or to sell the company to the highest bidder in the meantime.)

Meanwhile, outgoing Palm CEO Ed Colligan — who is going to work at Elevation Partners, the private equity firm that owns a big chunk of Palm — gets a nice sendoff. He’ll get $1.2 million in cash spread over the next year or so, and accelerated options vesting.

Palm says it will take a non-cash charge of $5 million this quarter, and another $2 million charge in the next year, as part of the separation agreement. Definitely worth it: Rubinstein has led Palm’s Hail Mary comeback, and he’s already accomplished what few companies have ever done — completely revitalized their technology and vision. Without his leadership, Palm could have been toast.

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