Jon Rubinstein moves to SVP of Product Innovation role, Stephen DeWitt takes over webOS GBU
Things are shaking up at the HP Palm Global Business Unit: SVP and PGBU General Manager Jon Rubinstein has been moved to a new role – SVP of Product Innovation in the HP Personal Systems Group – and Stephen DeWitt is taking over. DeWitt comes in from leading HP’s Personal Systems Group Americas region and will fill the SVP and General Manager roles of the webOS (no longer Palm) Global Business Unit in place of Rubinstein.
Rubinstein, if you’ll recall, was brought on to Palm back in 2007 and guided the company during the development of webOS. He later became CEO of Palm, and then helped the company towards its acquisition by HP. His new role is somewhat vaguely titled, likely on purpose. “With the launch of webOS 3.0, our team has delivered a world-class platform for HP to leverage going forward, and it is now time to take things to the next level,” said Rubinstein. “With webOS under Stephen DeWitt’s proven leadership, I’m looking forward to my new role and driving further innovation for webOS and other PSG products.”
One can’t help but wonder if the shuffling is part of HP’s getting better control over webOS. While Palm lost many senior executives during the acquisition process, Rubinstein and many Palm employees remained in place during the past year. Rubinstein’s new role could potentially have him working with the PGBU, but he’ll be working across the entire Personal Systems group (HP’s personal computers division).
DeWitt brings a track record of success with him to the webOS division. While leading Personal Systems Americas, DeWitt was responsible for rising profits and share position. Before that he led a Java development house Azul, Sun, and Cisco. HP Executive Vice President, Personal Systems Group, Todd Bradley (the guy who oversees all things HP personal computing, including PGBU) had glowing words for DeWitt:
"Stephen DeWitt has a proven ability to build and scale organizations into global, multibillion dollar operations, and I am confident that he will take webOS to the next level. At the same time, we continue to leverage the core strengths of Silicon Valley icon Jon Rubinstein to apply his considerable talents across the PSG portfolio."
Welcome to the Palm Global Business Unit, Mr. DeWitt. You're coming in at a time of great transition and potential, and it's clear HP has a lot of faith in you. This is a bit different than running the hardware division for a hemisphere - the software here is just as - if not more - important as the hardware. Good luck!
Full press release after the break.
HP to Drive Innovation, Scale and Growth of webOS
Stephen DeWitt to lead HP’s webOS global business unit; Jon Rubinstein named senior vice president of product innovation for PSG
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Building on the successful launch of HP webOS 3.0, HP (NYSE: HPQ) today announced it is accelerating the global expansion of webOS.
To support this next phase of growth, HP has appointed Stephen DeWitt as senior vice president and general manager of its webOS global business unit. Jon Rubinstein, the visionary behind webOS, will assume a product innovation role within the Personal Systems Group (PSG) at HP.
This announcement underscores HP’s strategy to provide a seamless, secure, context-aware experience across HP’s product portfolio, and to deliver innovation at unmatched scale.
“With the successful debut of our first wave of webOS-based products, we are drawing on our deep executive bench to position the right leaders in the right roles to accelerate the long-term growth of webOS,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, and member of the Executive Board, HP. “Stephen DeWitt has a proven ability to build and scale organizations into global, multibillion dollar operations, and I am confident that he will take webOS to the next level. At the same time, we continue to leverage the core strengths of Silicon Valley icon Jon Rubinstein to apply his considerable talents across the PSG portfolio.”
DeWitt, who has been leading the PSG Americas region at HP, will be responsible for all aspects of the webOS business, including engineering, research and development, sales, marketing and go-to-market support. In his new role, DeWitt will spearhead the creation of a fully integrated, global developer and independent software vendor program to deliver new consumer and business applications. DeWitt’s team also will create a dedicated mobility practice with HP’s partner community, with the goal of delivering consumer and enterprise solutions globally.
DeWitt has dramatically improved PSG’s profitability and share position in the America’s region since his arrival to HP in 2008. He is succeeded by Stephen DiFranco, head of the Solutions Partners Organization for the Americas region at HP.
“Innovation is at the core of webOS, and I look forward to working with our talented team of engineers as we strive to develop the industry’s most compelling set of products, solutions and services in markets around the world,” said DeWitt. “As part of our investment in the future of webOS, we are working in lock step with the developer community, our channel partners and the start-up community to create an application ecosystem that delivers on HP’s mobile connectivity strategy.”
Jon Rubinstein has been named senior vice president for Product Innovation in the Personal Systems Group at HP. He will continue to report to Todd Bradley in this role, helping to propel innovation across product lines. HP will leverage Rubinstein’s passion for building exceptional consumer products and his long history of driving game changing innovation, such as webOS.
“With the launch of webOS 3.0, our team has delivered a world-class platform for HP to leverage going forward, and it is now time to take things to the next level,” said Rubinstein. “With webOS under Stephen DeWitt’s proven leadership, I’m looking forward to my new role and driving further innovation for webOS and other PSG products.”