Phil McKinney retiring from HP; big thinkers on the way out? | webOS Nation

Phil McKinney retiring from HP; big thinkers on the way out? 38

by Derek Kessler Mon, 31 Oct 2011 4:51 pm EDT

First HP Chief of Strategy and Technology Shane Robison retired from HP, with his job to not be filled after he leaves tomorrow. Today HP is losing another big thinking creative mind, with Chief Technology Officer and friend of webOS Phil McKinney is bidding farewell to HP. McKinney is retiring from HP after nine years, but says that he has “far too much passion, energy and ideas to sit on the sidelines” and will be diving head first into his first book, titled Beyond The Obvious. After his last day (expected to be the last day December), he also plans to spend more time blogging, podcast, and speaking ‘round the world, as well as serving on corporate boards and taking advisory roles with companies other than HP.

McKinney was the driving force behind much of HP’s creative work, like the Blackbird and Firebird desktops, the Envy laptop series, DreamScreen and much more – that all led to HP making it onto FastCompany’s “Most Creative Companies” list. Phil was also a big cheerleader for webOS, often speaking about the possibilities of webOS in other form factors. We’ll miss having him around, even if we did roll our eyes every time he whipped out that rolled-up flexible display prototype.

We can’t say for sure whether or not this has anything to do with the reorganization happening at HP. With every unit handling their own research and development, there might not be a need for a big-picture guy like McKinney. So good luck Phil, hope we’ll see you around!

Source: Phil McKinney



Charmin for webOS
Thats funny

So should I "swipe" front-to-back or back-to-front?

Charmin: For when webOS hits the fan.

Wow... imagine that, Toilet paper with Pinch To Zoom for your deepest curiosities.

ROFL...and nasty...but ROFL anyway.

LOL - Agreed

I've heard that random guy I've never heard of named Lance at HP is leaving. I want a story on it.

coming up. hp lays of all security workers because they have nothing to worth stealing other than webOS which hp will experiment porting it to other devices through osmosis by throwing veers at computers and printers until it works.

Okay I lol'd at this one (@ the throwing veers at computers and printers until it works)..

so pretty much everyone at HP who thought webOS was worth anything is either leaving or already gone.

Both Whitman and Bradley happen to like webOS - they said as much on the employee meeting last week. They still need to make a business decision on it which is not the same as liking the technology because there needs to be a business case for it.

As for the premise of this article - the change going on at HP has to do with CTO types being assigned to each business unit rather than having one person speaking for the whole of HP. There will be a CTO council to coordinate between business units. Sounds like McKinney was going to end up not reporting to a business unit or just didn't want to.

Speaking of retirements, Ruby is still around and kicking (he was mentioned by both Bradley and Meg).

I have a feeling either webOS (software side) is DEAD for sure or someone took it already, which we will know in few months.

Id put another nail in the coffin, but it has already decomposed. :(

i'm constantly amazed that you all actually know who these people are.

I honestly think Rubenstien and Meg Whitman are the only people that work at HP i know of. The former because it's posted here all the time and the latter cause she ran for office in California and it was on cnbc.

Good observation. Part of the PreCentral way is to elevate certain personnel to hero status only to be inevitably disappointed because they don't live up to our lofty expectations. Then we crucify them. It's part of irrational fandom that fuels this site.

that whole thing is wild to me. the fandom thing. I've had 3 hp computers (all utter shite by the way) but i never had a clue who even the CEO was. My last two phones where by samsung. Couldn't tell you a single person that works for them. I've only ever heard of two people from microsoft even. Gates and that other guy that owns the Seahawks. And that's cause they are filthy rich. But i've noticed that whole "hero" status thing in tech blogs. They do it with video games too. They know all these guys that make the games. I find it strange but that's me.

If you pay peanuts you would get shite.
Its just not HP computers, its every brand that makes cheap stuff. Spend good money and you can buy the top of the line PCs like ENVY.

The average Precentral user knows more than two people who are/were part of Microsoft. I find it strange that there are people who heard of Paul Allen but not Steve Ballmer.

My Sister never heard of Steve Jobs when I texted her about his death, and she lives only a couple of towns over from Cupertino. However, she knew who Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates were. Very strange indeed.

The main reason I know who McKinney is is because he spoke at the NYC Dev Day. He struck me as an inherently curious and excited engineer who somehow got sucked into the executive side of the business, but was still genuinely excited about the innovative things his company was capable of. Sure, he still gave some of the typical corporate doublespeak, but you could see the giddy 10-year-old inner child poking through the cracks as he preached his vision of webOS literally everywhere, of a smartphone that you put down on your coffee table and suddenly your entire coffee table is your computer with all of the same information available to it.

With McKinney gone, I fear the last visionary in HP leadership has left. Forget webOS - Apotheker killed that, Whitman will just take it behind the shed and finish the deed. I fear for HP's entire future. Dave and Bill would be disappointed to see where their company has gone.

So what exactly does Ruby do these days?

Same thing he does every day pinky. Try to take over the world.

...but with lower than expected adoption rates.

Is it me or is that guy in the background on the left picking Phil's right pocket??? Maybe that's the real reason he is leaving....(Too many Kleptos)

Pay no attention to the man behind the carton.

Sure, just retire. You know who can't retire from webOS? The Palm Pre Tatoo Guy. He's in for life!

im sure he is just fed up with all of the stupid decisions his bosses keep making. on another not its sure nice to be able to retire from a company after 9 years.....

No one wants to work for Meg Whitman.

I left almost a year ago and whenever I come back I'm glad I left, this is beyond pathetic... Derek I salute you for still having a job dealing a dead in the water OS that no one wants. Everything concerning Webos has been a depressing state of events...

users who know a quality experience want it. But like Beta vs VHS, quality doesn't win at Walmart. What wins at Walmart wins on Wall Street..... And ricochets ad nauseum.

Nice dude ineffective pie in the sky job. Traveled the globe on HP's nickel while the mother ship face planted repeatedly.

Meg is flushing all the fluff which is a good sign. Now just punt Ruby and the circle will be complete.

Bradley is a coin toss. Would rather see Raul Sood running that biz.

It is kind of joke how most of the personnel trotted out by HP to talk about how it's a marathon not a sprint ended up jumping ship within a year. Some marathon. How do they expect to have any credibility when they walk on stage.

I guess that's why everyone paid such rapt attention to Steve Jobs when he did his presentations. It's so exciting to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that whatever he was showing you on stage would be in your hands within a month or two.

It is the right choice for McKinney. He is way more of a visionar than a business man. Locking him to just one company is really blocking his abilities.

I agree that the tech biz has some heros that are none. But McKinney is, read his blog and become inspired.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were visionaries - Phil McKinney, nah.

So is this like rats fleeing a sinking ship or what. Not surprised that HP has to use a TP gimmick in order to get people to buy their shoddy laptops/computers now that this brain drain is in full effect. It's not like McKinney was even all that, just the best HP could pull. Sad.

HP execs constantly pointed out that the mobile market was a marathon, not a sprint. What they neglected to add was that they wouldn't be in the race.

Meg is doing clean house. Those who aren't ready to work with her are shown the door. Good thing or bad thing? Only time will tell. It will be hard to do worse than what we got recently.

Change is needed.

And if we consider how long people have been bitching about HP's internal policies, lack of innovation, etc, that doesn't speak too kindly for HP's CTO's (Robison, McKinney, etc). They might be entertaining to listen to, but are they really getting innovation in and the out of the labs?...

Time will tell if that's all good or bad news. But right now, one is sure, change is better than staying put, starting with change within the webOS SW org...

So whoever doesn't believe in HP or webOS anymore, whoever doesn't want to move forward for any reason, they should leave and make room for people who may have less experience & lesser resumes than them, but with the guts & desire to deliver.

"Abandon ship!"

Just another overrated guy leaving an overrated company.

Think about it...Mckinney was @ HP for 9 years, he was the guy responsible for the technology advances at HP for every division. Seems to me he was a lot of talk, but could not deliver, another Carly in my opinion. If you are dissatisfied with HP products he was ultimately responsible. I think its a good thing he is 'retiring'.