Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm and co-developer of the Apple iPod, has left Hewlett-Packard, the company confirmed to Mashable. Rubinstein came to HP after the company acquired Palm in 2012.
The departure, which had been planned for some time, is symbolic of the trajectory of webOS, the mobile OS created by Palm. Rubinstein oversaw Palm's development of webOS after his appointment as CEO in 2007. He spent more than four years trying to push the platform forward.
WebOS launched in 2009 with much promise and many positive reviews but devices (such as the Palm Pre) struggled to compete in the marketplace against the iPhone and Android devices. HP, looking to craft a mobile strategy, bought Palm in 2010 and Rubinstein began revamping the platform for the new company. Rubinstein now says he planned to leave the company after the first HP webOS products came to market.
Speaking to The Verge, Rubinstein says he had planned to leave HP "sometime after" the TouchPad tablet was launched, The Verge reported. He's now vacationing in Mexico but says he plans to return to the industry after he figures out his next move.
After acquiring Palm, HP launched its first new webOS devices, the HP TouchPad and Veer smartphone in mid 2011. The company discontinued the platform and products in August, shortly after the TouchPad's launch. It later said it would make webOS an open-source project. HP released its timetable for doing that earlier this week.
Rubinstein also played a key role in the initial development of the iPod, recognizing early the utility of a small hard drive for portable music storage. He is said to have put together and managed the team of engineers that created the project, including Tony Fadell, the developer of the Nest thermostat. Rubinstein left Apple in 2006 and joined up with Palm the following year.