And just like that, he's out. The former head of Palm
is leaving HP, and with webOS
all but buried, it's no real surprise. HP's acquisition of Palm proved disastrous, and after Jon Rubinstein was shifted into a product innovation role after the first major blow to webOS, we sort of figured he wouldn't hang around too much longer. He was once a huge proponent of Palm, even swearing by the Veer 4G handset that most critics wrote off as too small and not nearly functional enough. Evidently, he had a 1 to 2 year contract at HP to fulfill, and now that's up. All Things D is reporting that Jon has no immediate plans, only to take some time off and breathe a little after what has clearly been a wild ride at HP from Palm.
While not surprising, the departure is symbolic of webOS' place in the world. While it will survive in open source form, no new consumer devices will be marketed with webOS, effectively rendering it dead in the marketplace. It's a shame, too. webOS remains one of the best mobile operating systems on the market, bringing new ideas like Touchstone and Cards to market, but Palm / HP could never quite gain the momentum they needed to take a meaningful amount of market share from the other major players. Hopefully we'll see Jon surface at another mobile company soon -- we're sure some of his input would useful in a thing like Android, right?