There’s a big shakeup at HP concerning webOS as former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein will be stepping aside to allow HP’s Stephen DeWitt to drive the growth of webOS.
Jon Rubinstein has been the public face of webOS since its introduction with the original Pre and he was even the person who unveiled the Pre 3, Veer and the TouchPad tablet. The Veer and TouchPad have been met with harsh reviews and it looks like HP decided it’s time for some new blood to take over. Rubinstein is moving over to a “product innovation” role within the company’s Personal Systems Group.
“With the successful debut of our first wave of webOS-based products, we are drawing on our deep executive bench to position the right leaders in the right roles to accelerate the long-term growth of webOS,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, and member of the Executive Board, HP, in a prepared statement. “Stephen DeWitt has a proven ability to build and scale organizations into global, multibillion dollar operations, and I am confident that he will take webOS to the next level. At the same time, we continue to leverage the core strengths of Silicon Valley icon Jon Rubinstein to apply his considerable talents across the PSG portfolio.”
Rubinstein is not done with webOS in all likelihood but it’s fair to say that he will no longer be the driving force behind it. While we believe it’s a beautiful and elegant operating system, it’s fair to say that his reign as the webOS king didn’t set the world on fire.
With Palm, Rubinstein introduced webOS with the Pre on Sprint and constantly made bone-headed statements like he had never even touched an iPhone or that the company could succeed with just a few percentages of the market. With HP plunking down more than $1 billion to buy Palm and webOS, it’s not surprising to see it put its hand-chosen team behind the platform.