Feeds

webOS daddy Jon Rubinstein exits HP

Enough is enough: 'I'm gonna go for a swim, have a little lunch..."

New hybrid storage solutions

Apple, Palm, HP, margaritas

At Apple, Rubinstein led the iMac development team, which whipped into product form a concept that designer Jonathan Ive had proposed a few years earlier, and which Jobs championed after his rise to the CEO position – interim or otherwise.

Although he also led the team that developed the Mac G4 and G5 lines, Rubinstein is perhaps best known as the father of Apple's game-changing iPod, which he brought to market with the help of Ive and engineer Tony Fadell – even marketing honcho Phil Schiller is said to have gotten into the act by suggesting the iPod's scroll-wheel interface.

After leaving his position as head of the successful iPod division in March 2006, Rubinstein joined Palm in 2007, just as that company struggled to reshape its identity as the personal digital assistant (PDA) market it had dominated was facing certain doom from the rise of feature phones and then smartphones.

Rubenstein introduced Palm's webOS mobile operating system and its first phone, the Palm Pre, in January 2009. In June of that year, Rubinstein took over as Palm CEO from 16-year Palm veteran Ed Colligan.

Despite generally favorable reviews – including one from this reporter – the Pre was not able to overcome the iPhone juggernaut (or the many-tentacled reach of Android, for that matter), and it never really caught on.

After admitting in March 2010 that Palm's troubles were "deeply disappointing" to him, Rubinstein sidestepped rumors that the company was up for sale, despite speculation that HTC, ZTE, and Lenovo were showing interest.

In April of that year, Rubinstein told the Financial Times that "Palm can survive as an independent company" and that they had "a plan that gets us to profitability". Five days later, HP bought Palm for $1.2bn.

And we all know how well that partnership worked out. Remember HP's grand plan to put webOS in HP printers and onto HP PCs? Fuggeddaboutit.

For those of us who were fans of webOS – despite its rocky start, its less than stellar wooing of developers, and its somewhat turgid performance in its early iterations on underpowered hardware – its demise and Rubinstein's increasing isolation have been painful to watch.

But today, Rubinstein appears to be feeling no pain. Although he told The Verge during Friday's interview from his vacation in Mexico that it was "too early in the day for a margarita," he was "gonna go for a swim, have a little lunch..."

No details of Rubinstein's severance package have been released, but we're willing to bet that should he so desire, he'll be able to pop for a bottle of Herradura Selección Suprema Extra Anejo for that eventual margarita. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress
FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.