Mobile

Former Palm CEO regrets HP’s Palm acquisition: ‘Talk about a waste’

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HP’s 2010 acquisition of Palm was a complete disaster, and few people are likely more bitter about it than former Palm CEO and webOS creator Jon Rubinstein.

In a recent interview with FierceWireless, Rubinstein said that he wasn’t crazy about the way HP’s Palm acquisition went down. “I’m not sure I would have sold [Palm] to HP. That’s for sure. Talk about a waste,” he said.

Rubinstein, who now spends his time on the directorial boards of  Amazon and Qualcomm, became Palm’s CEO in June 2009, not long after the promising release of webOS. A year later HP stepped in, buying Palm and webOS for $1.3 billion before surrendering both to paltry product sales in a smartphone market that very quickly left HP behind. The company eventually discontinued devices running webOS and, earlier this year, sold the operating system to LG.

While the situation was probably tough for Rubinstein to watch, one vindication for the webOS approach comes in the form of iOS 7, which borrows more than a few cues from Palm’s operating system. WebOS may have been swallowed up by the smartphone market, but its influences are still very much around — for whatever that’s worth.