HP bumps Rubinstein from webOS lead after TouchPad launch failure

HP has appointed Stephen DeWitt as senior vice president and general manager of its webOS global business unit. Jon Rubinstein, the visionary behind webOS, will assume a product innovation role within the Personal Systems Group (PSG) at HP.

“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. “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.”

MacDailyNews Take: Calling something “successful” doesn’t make it so. Calling something “successful” that’s not successful makes a person sound stupid, disingenuous, or both.

Translation of the rest of the corporate-speak: “Rubinstein is being relived of the webOS lead and Stephen’s taking over.”

The rest of the press release, verbatim:

DeWitt, who has been leading the PSG Americas region at HP, will be responsible for all aspects of the webOS business, including engineering, research and development, sales, marketing and go-to-market support. In his new role, DeWitt will spearhead the creation of a fully integrated, global developer and independent software vendor program to deliver new consumer and business applications. DeWitt’s team also will create a dedicated mobility practice with HP’s partner community, with the goal of delivering consumer and enterprise solutions globally.

DeWitt has dramatically improved PSG’s profitability and share position in the America’s region since his arrival to HP in 2008. He is succeeded by Stephen DiFranco, head of the Solutions Partners Organization for the Americas region at HP.

“Innovation is at the core of webOS, and I look forward to working with our talented team of engineers as we strive to develop the industry’s most compelling set of products, solutions and services in markets around the world,” said DeWitt. “As part of our investment in the future of webOS, we are working in lock step with the developer community, our channel partners and the start-up community to create an application ecosystem that delivers on HP’s mobile connectivity strategy.”

Jon Rubinstein has been named senior vice president for Product Innovation in the Personal Systems Group at HP. He will continue to report to Todd Bradley in this role, helping to propel innovation across product lines. HP will leverage Rubinstein’s passion for building exceptional consumer products and his long history of driving game changing innovation, such as webOS.

“With the launch of webOS 3.0, our team has delivered a world-class platform for HP to leverage going forward, and it is now time to take things to the next level,” said Rubinstein. “With webOS under Stephen DeWitt’s proven leadership, I’m looking forward to my new role and driving further innovation for webOS and other PSG products.”

MacDailyNews Take: Translation of Ruby’s quote: “Well, that’s that. Steve Jobs I’m not; nobody is. I get it now. It sucks, but I want to collect the maximum amount from these clowns before I go. I can’t wait to get back to the beach in Mexico, drink margaritas with my wife and toast the setting sun.”

Source: HP

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Winston” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Rubinstein addresses poor HP TouchPad reviews, compares webOS to Apple’s early Mac OS X – July 5, 2011
Beleaguered Palm’s Rubinstein learning he’s no Steve Jobs – September 11, 2009
Why did Jon Rubinstein exit Apple and why is he now leading Palm? – June 4, 2009
Former Apple execs Rubinstein and Anderson join Palm’s board – June 04, 2007
Tim Cook named COO of Apple, Jon Rubinstein to retire March 31 and be succeeded by Tony Fadell – October 14, 2005


    1. I referenced the Peter Principle the other day to my 25 year old son and he thought I was talking dirty. It should be required reading like it was for us 70’s college guys

  1. Sure, if you say so. But, Mr Innovation just said it was sucked and would require years to correct. He should know, it is his genetic baby and he knows the flaw that were baked in!!!

    HP/Microsoft, building innovation in one copied and reversed engineered Apple patent at a time.

  2. Steve DimWitt will be responsible for all aspects of the webOS business, including engineering, research and development, sales, marketing and go-to-market support, database administration, telesales, HR, facilities, payroll and accounts payable, canteen barista and security doorman. He will also deliver pizza on a per user request basis.

  3. Why do corporations think they need to throw out so much BS and hyperbole in press releases? Who the hell do they think they are fooling? What happened to being concise? Ah, figured it out, the PR hack gets paid by the word!

    1. Concise would be not issuing a press release at all, especially one that tossed someone under the bus.

      And MDN, the LAUNCH was successful, as HP actually brought a product to market and some store that can’t sell iPads has put one on a shelf even if the PRODUCT is itself not successful based on the metrics of reviews and early sales.

  4. Excellent final take there, MDN. Your memory is long, Jon Rubinstein deserves all the chastisement coming his way. He could have been more straightforward with Jobs about his “retirement” plans.

    Class—some has ’em; Jon Rubinstein isn’t one of them.

    1. And, to call hardware guy Rubenstein “visionary” behind WebOS is overestimation. Rubestein just pulled few other people with rejected ideas for iOS from Apple and fled to Palm (after smart pause) for money and grandeur.

  5. Ah, someone finally gets this story right. Not Bloomberg. Not Barrons. But MacDailyNews. Rubinsten and HP Innovation means “just do a half ass job of copying apple and we’ll be just fine”.

  6. “driving further innovation”

    Strange, that’s how Ballmer talks. But he usually says, “driving our innovation”. It’s like they went to the same PR consultant.

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