Quoted: Regrets, Jon Rubinstein has a few (like selling Palm to HP)

“Well, I’m not sure I would have sold the company to HP. That’s for sure. Talk about a waste.”

Jon Rubinstein, former CEO of Palm, in hindsight. He tells Fierce Wireless that the company really “had no choice,” but that Hewlett-Packard never really gave the Silicon Valley smartphone and webOS maker “a chance to flourish.” (Another Rubinstein regret: Before the sale to HP, the Palm Pre smartphone was only available on Sprint.) Rubinstein, formerly of Apple, worked at HP after the Palo Alto company bought Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010. He left HP last year, a little over a month after the company announced it would make webOS open source. (The webOS-based TouchPad tablet flopped; HP announced its discontinuation after less than two months on the market.) This week, though, Palm and webOS were back in the news. Some, including the Merc’s Troy Wolverton, pointed out after Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference that the new feature in iOS that allows for switching between tasks looks a lot like Palm’s cards feature. (Ars Technica said it was “more like a direct homage.”)


Jon Rubinstein unveils the HP TouchPad in 2011. (Mercury News archives)


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