Jon Rubinstein, the former Palm CEO who revived the company under WebOS but was never able to produce a breakthrough product after HP paid $1.2 billion for Palm, is leaving HP (NYSE: HPQ). His departure is not exactly a surprise, coming six months after he was reassigned just before HP began to wind down its mobile strategy.
Rubinstein, a former Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) executive who played a key role in the development of the iPod and the iPhone, had been working in a fuzzy role within HP’s Personal Systems Group after ceding day-to-day control of the WebOS business unit to Stephen DeWitt in July. Of course, by August the WebOS business itself was put out to pasture following then-CEO Leo Apotheker’s decision to halt development of the Touchpad.
His next destination, however, will be quite interesting. AllThingsD, which first reported the news, said that the timing of his departure was related to a commitment made to HP following the Palm deal in 2010 to stay on for 12 to 24 months.