Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm, has left HP. AllThingsD broke the news Friday afternoon, noting that Rubinstein had served his promised 12-24 month tenure with the company before leaving. “Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well,” HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan told AllThingsD. Rubinstein led the team responsible for the original iPod and left Apple in 2006 to eventually join Palm as CEO in 2009. While at Palm, Rubinstein was responsible for, among other projects, the development of the Palm Pre and Palm’s webOS mobile operating system, both of which were transferred to HP in 2010 When it acquired Palm for $1.2 billion. HP has since open-sourced the mobile operating system after failing to gain traction with its Pre, Pixi, Veer and TouchPad products. More →
While HP didn’t exactly hit the ground running following its Palm acquisition, webOS is still one of our favorite mobile operating systems and we can’t wait for the Pre3 to drop at some point this summer. With that said, it looks like HP is moving some executives around, and for good reason. Jon Rubenstein, who was vice president and general manager of HP’s webOS global business unit is moving into an executive role as senior vice president of product innovation for the Personal Systems Group. Stephen DeWitt, who formerly occupied the role Rubenstein is taking over, will replace him as head of the webOS global business unit. Hit the break for HP’s press release.
Former Palm CEO and current Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Palm Global Business Unit Jon Rubinstein reportedly sent a memo to his team on Friday in order to address the less-than-stellar reviews the company’s new TouchPad tablet received from press and bloggers. Likening HP’s position with webOS to Apple’s position with Mac OS X year ago, Rubinstein reminds his team that despite the deficiencies mentioned in reviews, the company’s vision for webOS was recognized and reviewers as a whole see webOS’ potential. “If you’ve seen the recent TouchPad reviews you know that the industry understands HP’s vision and sees the same potential in webOS as we do,” Rubinstein wrote in the memo. “David Pogue from the New York Times says ‘there are signs of greatness here.’ (I’ve included links to David’s review and others below.) You’ve also seen that reviewers rightly note things we need to improve about the webOS experience. The good news is that most of the issues they cite are already known to us and will be addressed in short order by over-the-air software and app catalog updates. We still have work to do to make webOS the platform we know it can be, but remember…..it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” BGR reviewed the HP TouchPad last month, and our determination was well-aligned with the consensus. Despite bogging and lackluster hardware, we saw great potential in webOS moving forward as HP attempts to gain mind share and market share in the already crowded smartphone and tablet spaces. Rubinstein’s full memo follows below.
Despite being the man who led the charge of the Pre and webOS after a 9 year tenure at Apple, it still came as a bit of a surprise when Palm announced that Jon Rubinstein will be assuming the role as CEO starting tomorrow. After everything Palm has been through, now is when it makes a major change at the top? Taking over the position that has been held by Ed Colligan for the past sixteen years, Rubinstein will be entrusted with ensuring the company stays on the straight and narrow as it attempts to re-establish itself as a major player in the smartphone market. As for Colligan, he will join Roger McNamee at Elevation Partners, a major financial backer of Palm, after a much needed hiatus.