Palm gets another ex-Apple guy to run its developer community

Palm is already filled with former Apple employees, and now they have another one. Chuq Von Rospach, who worked at Apple for several years on various Unix projects, has been hired by Palm to be the Developer Community Manager, he announced on his blog today.

This will be an important job going forward as Palm is set to release its Pre smartphone sometime in the next few months, and it’s a device which has gotten a lot of buzz both from consumers and developers, thanks to a sleek piece of hardware and its new operating system. In fact, the level of buzz is reminiscent of another company: Apple. I asked Von Rospach about his thoughts on joining Palm, and the Apple connection.

“It wasn’t so much that there are ex-Apple people there, but that there are a bunch of really good and talented people there,” Von Rospach told me via email. “That Jon Rubenstein [the former senior vice president of Apple's iPod division and current executive chairman of the board at Palm] is heavily involved was one of the things that caught my eye — but the place is stuffed with lots of really sharp and competent and inventive people, some of whom used to work for Apple. And many worked other places, too, like Adobe and Macromedia, for instance.”

“The technology interested me, the people convinced me it was something I wanted to do,” he continued.

Von Rospach wrote a great retrospective about some of his time at Apple for The Guardian last month. His hiring comes at a time when speculation is building that Apple may turn its lawyers loose on Palm to go after some IP infringement. The thought is that Apple may hold key patents to multi-touch use on mobile devices, something which is a big part of the Palm Pre. Palm has said it owns many patents as well, and will also protect its IP — according to a Palm spokesperson who, yes, used to work for Apple.

Von Rospach will begin at Palm on Feb. 16.

[photo via PalmInfoCenter]


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