HP Pulls Plug on Rubinstein as webOS Head

By Beecher Tuttle July 12, 2011

Hewlett-Packard has reorganized the management structure of its webOS mobile operating system unit by replacing the group’s head. The move comes just 10 days after HP launched the webOS-powered TouchPad tablet, which has so far received mixed reviews.

Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein has been replaced as the head of the webOS unit by Stephen DeWitt, who ran the Americas region of HP’s Personal Systems Group (PSG). Stephen DiFranco, head of the solutions partners organization for the Americas, will take over the role left vacant by DeWitt.

Rubinstein, who ran the unit since HP acquired Palm last year, will receive a “product innovation role” within the PSG, where he will have much broader range of responsibilities across multiple product lines, according to a company release.

DeWitt will be charged with the task of taking on Apple and Android in the hopes of making webOS a relevant player in the mobile space. Besides overseeing engineering, R&D and sales initiatives, DeWitt will also oversee HP’s new global developer and independent software vendor program as well as launch a dedicated mobility practice with HP’s partner community. The goal will be to create consumer and business apps that can stand up to those provided by competitors.

“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,” Todd Bradley, executive vice president of PSG, noted in a statement.

Although HP kept a positive tone in the release, some have speculated that the move may have stemmed from buyer concerns over the TouchPad tablet, the hallmark webOS device. Most complaints concern the performance of the device, including slow app load times and an inadequate browser, according to PC World.

The issues with the tablet led HP to announce just a week after its launch that the company will deliver an over-the-air software update in the coming days.

“We are working on our first software release, which will improve many of their concerns with regards to performance,” HP spokeswoman Leslie Letts said in a statement.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It’s also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

CES 2018: Terabit Fiber - Closer Than We Think

By: Doug Mohney    1/17/2018

One of the biggest challenges for 5G and last mile 10 Gig deployments is not raw data speeds, but middle mile and core networks. The wireless industry…

Read More

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More

Making Connections - The Value of Data Correlation

By: Special Guest    1/5/2018

The app economy is upon us, and businesses of all stripes are moving to address it. In this age of digital transformation, businesses rely on applicat…

Read More

3 Ways to Improve Your VR Projects

By: Ellie Martin    1/4/2018

There is no denying that VR is here and will most likely only increase in velocity as a terminal speed is yet to be even hypothesized. That is why it …

Read More