HP Dumps Ex-Palm CEO, Celebrates Mobile-free Future
January 27, 2012 3:25 PM
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Computer maker says no to progress, drops another shovel of dirt on webOS's grave
In a further blow to those hoping for a webOS revival Jon Rubinstein,
the iconic Palm CEO
who supervised the creation of the webOS-powered Pre, has been released from his executive post at Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
I. A Failure of Vision
HP has been on a mess roller coaster ride over the last year shuffling CEOs and even contemplating spinning off the heart of its company -- the consumer PC business. The change in leadership has also led HP to effectively abandon its hope of being a viable player in the mobile tablet/smart phone space.
blew $1.2B USD
to acquire Palm Inc. in April 2010, in what seemed like a promising move for both companies at the time. Palm still had a legion of firm supporters, and while it was no longer the iPhone competitor
it was once was
(and which Android became) it still had a shot.
That shot was killed by HP's
floundering board and hapless new executive leadership
. The webOS product line was
officially discontinued in Aug. 2011
. Meanwhile HP seemed to be combing through its ranks removing all the one-time supporters [
] of webOS.
"I didn't know there was such a thing as corporate suicide, but now we know that there is. It's just astonishing." -- Ex-HP Board Chairman Tom Perkins on the company's struggles
[Image Source: Euro-Synergies]
After HP became the
second major company in two years to fire Léo Apotheker
from its CEO spot for poor performace, new CEO Meg Whitman reported shopped around webOS to prospective buyers. But her
asking price of $1.2B USD
-- what HP had paid for it before it desecrated the remains of Palm -- was reportedly
by serious buyer prospects like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
Unsurprisingly no buyer was found.
II. Jon Rubinstein Departs to More Fertile Shores
Today HP has
open sourced webOS
, essentially giving away for free the product that months before it had hope to get a billion dollars for.
HP was quiet about the departure of Mr. Rubinstein. They would only say, when reached for comment
, "Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well."
Jon Rubinstein, father of the iPod and Palm Pre [Image Source:
Ultimately this is likely a smart career move for Mr. Rubinstein, who
originally gained fame
as the creator of the iPod at Apple, Inc. (
). Mr. Rubinstein has put out solid products at companies who have ambition, companies who have the willingness to take risks in the mobile space -- attributes that are sorely lacking at HP.
Sadly for webOS fans, this is one more sign that the beloved platform is taking its final ride into the glow of the twilight. As HP reassigns the remainder of the webOS skeleton crew who weren't laid off yet, Mr. Rubinstein's departure serves as perhaps the final reminder that once there was a company named Palm, a company with two decades of bold mobile vision, a company whose final spark of life was extinguished by HP.
reports that Mr. Rubinstein has been absent from the office
, in silent protest of Mr. Apotheker's decision to kill webOS, and that HP only now got around to clarifying his status.)
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
1/27/2012 5:01:48 PM
I agree. I got 2 (16 and 32). Gave the 16GB to my wife (even though for some reason it clearly had a more "white" backlight than the 32gb model I got which seemed dimmer).
Anyway, they both are pretty horrible for just about anything. Slow, clunky, webpages don't load right half the time. Can't view NFL.com period due to rendering issues.
The thing just sucks. Hell there was even a WebOS update just a week or 2 ago to address issues, but the thing still sucks and in no way could ever have given the iPad (as much as I don't like apple) any sort of competition, especially with its huge initial price tag.
If I was a head HP exec, I would have taken an iPad and a touchpad, and used them both for about an hour, and then I would have been able to make the very wise decision to stop everything and go back to the drawing board. WebOS itself has a few nice features, but the touchpad was a very very sorry excuse for a usable tablet.
I am waiting for a more stable build of ICS from cyanogenmod, and then maybe I will see about running android on at least one of the touchpads. If for no other reason than to just be able to browse the web properly.
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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