Jon Rubinstein as CEO of Apple? What’s that about?

April 7, 2014, 11:56 AM UTC
Rubinstein with Palm Pre

FORTUNE — If you follow the Apple (AAPL) sell-side analysts long enough you get to know their hobbyhorses.

For Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster it’s Apple television. For Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi it’s Apple’s cash hoard. For Global Equities’ Trip Chowdhry, it’s Jon Rubinstein.

Yes, Jon Rubinstein, whom Wikipedia calls the “Podfather” for his role in developing Apple’s portable music player. Since he left Apple in 2006, Rubinstein has had a hand in a series of high-profile products, including the Palm Pre and HP TouchPad. He currently sits on the board of Amazon (AMZN) and was, according to Chowdhry, instrumental in the development of Fire TV.

Here’s the thing: Chowdhry wants Tim Cook out as Apple CEO and Jon Rubinstein in. And on this subject, Chowdhry is like a dog with a bone. He first raised the idea last summer and hasn’t let go.

  • Chowdhry on CNBC

    “The current executive team led by Tim Cook and Peter Oppenheimer have destroyed the shareholder value at Apple,” he wrote in a July 7, 2013, note to clients. “Some are suggesting a new executive team with Jon Rubinstein as CEO and [former Apple CFO] Fred Anderson as CFO. Each of them have a proven track record of creating outstanding shareholder value at Apple.”

  • He raised it again in January 2014: “We still think Jon Rubinstein as the new CEO and Fred Anderson as the new CFO could bring Apple closer back to Steve Job’s (sic) Apple, as these two individuals along with Steve Jobs were instrumental in turning Apple company around.”
  • And again in March: “To prevent further destruction of shareholder value, Apple’s CEO and CFO need to be replaced sooner rather than later. The team of Jon Rubinstein (Father of iPod) as CEO and Fred Anderson as CFO, may be best to revive Apple.”
  • And in April: “Jon Rubinstein, as the new CEO of Apple, is the only one who can revive Apple.”
  • And once more on Sunday, in a note that mentioned Rubinstein 19 times. The “converged view,” he wrote, “is that Apple does not have the capability to understand the competition and lacks the vision and ability to deliver new products; Jon Rubinstein understands what needs to be done and has the ability to deliver.”

Okay, Mr. Chowdhry. We get the message.

See also: How wrong-headed can one Apple analyst be?


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