Richard Kerris leaving HP for "an opportunity outside" | webOS Nation

Richard Kerris leaving HP for "an opportunity outside" 109

by Derek Kessler Mon, 24 Oct 2011 5:56 pm EDT

It's been a while since we've had anybody leave webOS (by "a while", we mean a few months, which is a long time in webOS land), but today we can add yet another to the column of "former webOS employee." As of today, HP Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations for webOS Richard Kerris is out, just under nine months after joining the company. The statement from HP on the matter:

"Richard Kerris, vice president, Worldwide Developer Relations for webOS, has decided to leave HP to pursue an opportunity outside of the company, effective immediately.  We are grateful for his service and contributions he has made to HP and the webOS community."

It's a sad development for webOS, as Kerris has served as a strong champion for webOS app development. Granted, that was his job, but he was ceaseless in his drive with global developer events and keeping webOS going while HP was figuring out what to do with it. With the future of webOS uncertain, we certainly can't blame him or anybody else at the webOS Global Business Unit for exploring their options. Outside firms like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter are aggressively hiring (and have poached a number of talents from Palm and HP over the years). While HP may have put a pause on all layoffs, they certainly don't seem to be doing much to retain their current webOS staff, given the uncertain future of the platform.


Sad...just sad. Another nail in the WebOS coffin :(


I'm gettin an iPad. I have a $500 device that has no future. This sucks..

If you can hold fire for a few months you'll eventually have the ability to install the latest version of Android side by side with webOS and have a dual booting tablet.

At that point you'll have something way better than an iPad.

Making it harder to ignore ICS, with all it's webOS inspiration. I'm glad to have met Richard at the Sydney webOS Connect just over a month ago, and thankful for all his achievements with webOS Dev.

yes, ICS looks very good at this point.

I wonder. There is a poster in the Sunnyvale McDonald's window that says "Management opportuniti
es, health plan, free food..."

Can we verify that Ruby is still receiving paychecks from HP?

With Ruby running that McDonald's it will be bought out within a year and burned to the ground for the insurance money the next.

The webOS UI was Matias Duarte's V3"
V1 Danger
V2 Sidekick
V3 webOS
V4 Ice Cream Sandwich

See Duarte's Engadget interview at This Is My Next from last week. If you want to see what the next generationof webOS would have looked like, check out Ice Cream Sandwich.

This. It's not "webOS inspired", it's "Duarte inspired". The man's got talent.

yeah, but some will claim it was Rubinstein who was "visionary".

Guys - there's no more room for nails in this coffin! The coffin is already falling apart from all the nails in it. You just can't put anymore nails in! It's over - its been over since August, unfortunately. I hung out on WebOS since launch day. Bailed for an EVO 3D after the Leo August announcement. Its not WebOS but at least there is no coffin having nails driven into it every week.

Heres another nail. I am a long time supporter launch day buyer, even rocked the veer until last week when my work let us all get free smartphones. I tried letting work buy me an unlocked pre 3 and they were like.. nope. it has to come from a major carrier.

I have a 4s. hate the multi tasking, loving other things about it.

Thanks HP for **** me over bigtime and for wasting the best phone that never was.

Thanks HP!!!

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Lets hope we don't lose Chuq.

Richard leaving is a let down, but Chuq leaving would be devastating to the webOS (developer) community.


wow down rank for liking chuq... clearly someone who has never dealt with the dev relations team.

Chuqs a cool dood man. Hope he makes it somewhere else.

this can't be good. if webos was about to be sold to a bright new future, richard kerris wouldn't be leaving.

Eh, it is what it is. If you have talent and get a job offer would you stay with a company that has shown zero loyalty to your product and it's employees?

He was such a great talent too. Thanks Mr. Kerris, for everything. I won't ever forget your kindness and I look forward to your new adventure.

Agreed! Thanks for doing what you could in the short time you were given. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Clearly this means he's moving to Samsung/HTC/Sony/Amazon/LG/Disney/WWE/Kraft to broker a deal to acquire WebOS, right? Right?

I must admit this made me smile a little as we all have major doubts but still show signs of hope from time to time :)

If I was to bet on it I would say Samsung.

I doubt this will be the last news of this sort. Thanks HP/Leo for this mess! (The way webOS/PSG changes were announced without any planning was sheer idiocy). I am sure we will hear similar news for Ruby soon.

I'm amazed that Ruby has stayed around for as long as he has.

Rubenstein is no longer part of the what was the Palm team, when he was shuffled back in July he became part of the PSG exec team. The webOS GBU, the hardware division, was left under PSG and then killed in September. The software division moved to OST and is where they still sit for now.

The only exec really still left is Ari Jaaksi (who is now also who Chuq and the rest of Dev Rel people report to).

Don't forget, the blame also lies with the Board and one Meg Whitman. Leo (rhymes with mayo)was only the face of the company/board. They made the final decisions.

With that being said, crucifying Leo is good sport!

On what planet does Leo rhyme with Mayo? They rhyme like every masculine Spanish word rhymes. I don't think Dr. Suess would have ever wanted to rhyme the two.

The planet that Leo (pronounced Layoo)comes from (France I believe).

Actually, the "planet" is Germany, and it's pronounced LAY-oh ah-POH-tuh-ker (literally "apothecary" or druggist).

Drugs would explain a lot.

I thought it was "LAY-off" ah-POH-tuh-ker. Or maybe that's just what the board said. :-)

heh lets all just say in rude terms.
that mother apotheker.

He did a commendable job of filling the hole left when Ben & Dion moved on. It was great to see Mr Kerris when he did a local webOS connect event (along with the Canadian webOS DevRel rep, who also left HP recently).

Anyone that still has hopes for webOS to exist in a recognizable form (beyond features added to Android, BBX, WP7) must be an eternal optimist.

He couldn't hold a candle to Ben & Dion. The man was useless.


How about a webOS Siri alternative called "C**T". Just a bitter voice that always replies in expletives against the people that have done her wrong.

"C**T, what computer should I buy?" "Anything but HP, they suck donkey!"

I am a major supporter of WebOS but it cannot last with all this mess! Leo is a **** up! HP needs to sell and hopefully Amazon can buy it for cheap and add value by the sheer volume of their ecosystem. If Amazon, Google or Apple don't buy WebOS, then I don't see anything good coming out of this because at this stage of the game, you need an established ecosystem to make it otherwise you're wasting and blowing money on the platform. Once Jon Rubinstein leaves then it's all over... I suspect Jon is waiting to see how things play out... The fact that Rubi is still there means that something good may be jn the pipes! HP really messed this up! They just can't get their **** together.

Nobody needs to buy WebOS, they are just hiring away the people behind it. Which is the smart play for Apple/Google, and honestly why wouldn't you leave for either of those companies...Good luck sir.


My friends, the future of webOS isn't uncertain to me at all; I'm afraid it has none. I hate to say that because I love the os and have bought into the dream big time, but I don't see that there is any way we'll come back again, not the way HP handled this whole thing.

If I'm wrong I hope you all rub it in my face and I'll enjoy every taunt and comment because I really wanna be wrong. But I'm not.

PS. Get the "throwing darts at Leo Medicineman" game, it's the best ever!!!!

you are right on the money. Webos is done like dinner. Nothing can survive this malfeasance!

The new Sumsung Galaxy Nexus's gestures look and feel pretty much like WebOS device and I'm wondering why Palm/HP didn't want to do anything about it.
I know WebOS hardware is dead but still HP shouldn't let others to exploit their own unique OS which they had paid 1.2B for it.

These other mobile os providers are stealing everything from web os and getting away with it! Seen mac os' and the ipads ability to switch apps? I hate to say this, but HP has mismanaged webOS to a early tech grave...


God, stop babbling already.

I'll proly get voted down. But guys I have a $500 touchpad. A pre- but I just don't see a future for webOS. Leo destroyed the brand. I'm painfully moving to ios. As it stands.. They are best in breed. I need s phone. And for some reason my touchpad is getting 4hrs bat life. :-(

Didn't you return the touchpad for full refund? Many of retailers including amazon, best buy extended their usual return period. They may still take it. Then you can decide if want to buy a touchpad for going market price. Or if the Touchpad is really defective, HP may take it back for credit or refurbished unit.

I got it from tiger direct day one.. When the fire sale hit I tried to get adjustment. They were only doing the last 30 day fir customers. HP didn't help. Tiger direct didn't help. I was stuck for the extra 400... HP can s---k it...

instead of iOS, give WP7 a try.

Leo didn't destroy the brand. Palm did that. HP simply didn't do anything to fix it.

The only reason Rubi is still around: he's going down with the ship like any good captain does. I just can't see a reason to be hopeful anymore.

Note: "good captain" was not meant to imply that Rubi made good decisions at Palm/HP...

I'll bet no one will hire him. Look at his track record. Worthless.

Hey, Leo found a job after SAP...

LOL I'm just waiting for this to be posted soon:

"Everyone at HP has decided to leave HP to pursue an opportunity outside of the company, effective immediately. We are grateful for everyone's service and contributions they have made to HP and the webOS community."

I think it's pretty obvious. HP has long refused to indicate to their customers or the industry where they are planning on going and what they intend to do (other than make windows 8 tablets)

There's not going to be any more webOS anything. (As sad as that is for me to type it)

"HP has long refused to indicate to their customers or the industry where they are planning on going and what they intend to do"

...that is because they still do not have the slightest clue what the phukk it is, that webOS thingy, and what to do with it.

You know, like, erm, maybe we do, erm, that "maximize shareholders value" thing with it, it is always good to maximize things.

...but some brilliant know-it-all commenters here will claim this headless chicken syndrome is webOS' fault

Who cares if Amazon buys it. Big deal, WebOS on a Kindle, oh wow! Just kill it already and let all these people on this website find somewhere else to go and finally live in peace. I just hope Tim lands somewhere nice, he is multi-talented, has deceptive speed and stands anytime he is on video, it's true, look it up.

NEWS FLASH - Man leaves Titanic for outside flotation opportunity.

The future of webOS is very certain - it will live a very long and fruitful life being discussed in business classes for decades to come in how NOT to run a business, or how to run a brand into the ground.

I don't think so. I'm sure HP's implosion will be studied for decades but I just don't think anyone will remember WebOS.

It was never that important.

Exactly. Palm was near death's door before WebOS, and HP's decline had nothing to do with WebOS.

For it to have been some great tragic product that only failed because of mismanagement, you'd have to show where it succeeded EVER, which is nowhere. The WebOS "brand" never ascended, so it can't be run into the ground. Not with developers. Not with consumers. not with carriers. Just didn't happen.

It's like a band that critics say has tons of potential, but then when you ask them which of their albums you should buy or which ones they personally own, they say "None".

accruate. HP was in decline well before webos or even Leo got there. And HP's stock plummeting came because it preannounced a horrible quarter after already having two bad quarters. Then it officially gave future guidance for this current quarter that was substantially lower then analyst expected. Stocks tank when they pre announce and not only that they gave a future that didn't look rosy. Couple that with the general consensus that they paid way way over a reasonable price for Autonomy and you've got a company in free fall.

The cancelling of webos though tragic for the webos community was not viewed as anything more then a symbol of the lack of direction of management.But what you didn't hear outside of tech geeks, phone geeks, and precentral was people saying, the way to fix HP is to rerelease the webos devices like the veer and touchpad that were not selling before. And even the phone geeks at like this is my next podcast and engadget said they liked webos but most said they weren't exactly gonna buy all the devices. that's an issue.

but there is a fantasy hear that webos was some great success. It wasn't it always was struggling.

"but there is a fantasy hear that webos was some great success. It wasn't it always was struggling."

I don't think I have ever read anywhere here, not in the articles, nor even in the comments, anyone claiming webOS was a "great success", at any stage. "Great mobile OS", yes, that has been written often, and truthfully. But great success it never was - and not because of being a bad OS. Having been bought by the mess of a company that HP appeared to be, only sealed it's future. Which truly, was very dark already, and already one leg behind the grave. But it needn't be that way, given different leadership/marketing/hardware.

It doesn't matter they've got 5 MORE DAYS.


Until what? Halloween?

It's looking to be a very dark halloween for Palm.
(That's, ironically? The day they're scheduled to announce the "future" of webOS)

Sad. Imagine if we were working for the webOS SBU. Imagine how we'd feel after all that work after months and months of development and hard work, you get the rug pulled from under you and on top of that, your career is uncertain.... geesh. Poor HP employees.

it would suck. it is the nature of consumer products though. they fail. people work on advertising and it get's yanked. People spend two years making movies only to find out in the first week that nobody really digs what they spent years slaving over. Some guy wrote it thinking it was sincerely good, people edited scrips, they set up companies, got script clearances, permits, insurance, music licenses, negotiated with directors and producers and casting agents, scouted locations, added more insurance. Blah blah blah. All for someone to realize Waterworld sucks **** lol. But yeah i'm sure they feel crappy. I have a friends at a gaming company and they worked all on this game for a long time and after all their work the company decided not to release the game. So the game partially completed i guess just sits their. But they announced a release date, had trailers and everything. The game never came out. i felt bad for the guy.

When my Pre Minus stops working, I can put it in the garage next to my old Amiga and Super BetaMax. But for now, it still works fine, and I can run multiple apps on it, too, as long as one of them isn't Google Maps. I was a late adopter so I won't be able to upgrade for a long time, but for now, it still works. It would be nice if there would be a follow-on webOS device, but life will go on without one.

I won't miss him. He was useless anyway.

yep, wasn't he "the guy with a fan and a lamp"???
[EDIT:] No,it wasn't him (good for him), it was some other corporate muppet.

Anyway, I do not exactly remember any high-profile developer events organized under his command

That he was travelling from one company to another, and talk to them, trying to convince them all to develop for webOS??... Unconvincing story for me, and very little sense in doing this - there are way too many developers out there to address them one by one, and secondly, "talking to them", one by one, is not something that any enterprise will build their future plans on.

Good for Richard, and I hope the rest of the squad follows suit shortly and lands some stable opportunities to provide for themselves and their families elsewhere.

This makes no material difference to WebOS' chances of survival - they remain ZERO.

Good for Richard, and I hope the rest of the squad follows suit shortly and lands some stable opportunities to provide for themselves and their families elsewhere.

This makes no material difference to WebOS' chances of survival - they remain ZERO.

Derek--you keep talking as though the webOS GBU still exists. It was dissolved as of October 15th. All the PSG webOS employees are gone or transferred. The only remaining webOS team members are part of the mother ship, not a GBU.

I'm new to the webOS community & I USE to be a big HP fan, but not anymore. To me webOS is awesome and what HP did to it is terrible. Now that Richard is gone I can give up all hope for webOS. May it rest in peace.

Hey everybody I have a question, will my touchpad still receive updates even though I have it in developer mode and preware installed on it? Thanks in advance.

i have know idea as i don't have a touchpad but i wonder why you got a negative vote just for asking a question. Anyways hope you get an answer.

- vote was probably for the misplaced inquiry; its best asked in the proper forum thread rather than here in the heat of the moment while we're all red-eyed and foaming at the mouth.

"opportunity outside" .... Right... ie, he was fired as well,vas the other guy "retiring" too. It sure looks like the rats are leaving the boat, or been thrown to the sea

Is it only me who associates his departure with the WebOS being sold to some other company?

I believe that it is only you. No one in their right mind would think they could take a horribly mismanaged product, that has failed at least twice already and go up against ios and Android 4.0. Webos was a superior experience, but really, it has been surpassed by the competition while the people in charge did nothing. And don't say true multitasking and synergy...just have a look at ICS.

Well, I'm a WebOS newcomer (WinMob 5.x>WinMob 6>WinMob6.5>Android>WebOS) and I still like it better than any other OS. Specially if it's IOS and well, if I was brought into this even with all this problem (believe me, I'm a very selective person), I'm sure more people around the world would be willing to step in too.
In the end, it's all a matter of marketing (and some psychology) because then people will buy whatever you tell them to.

Derek - quick question:. Now can we start worrying about all the people abandoning webOS? :-P

(guess you've had to hang out here for a while to get that one...)

If I was WebOS, I'd feel like one of those rafts carrying illegal aliens in the ocean and no country wants to let me land. Sooner or later the passengers swim for and reach a shore...any shore, if they're lucky.

Good for him. Get out of the sinking ship!

OS/2 For-Eva!! Oh, wait, wrong forum.

For anyone interested, BayWarp (formerly the SF/SJ Bay Area OS/2 Users Group (OS2BAUG)) has their meeting TONIGHT!

Tis all very sad...I also still remember my Amiga fondly...maybe Commodore should make a come back and buy WebOS...

A 3rd party just released some new hardware for the Amiga. Can't recall the Blog/Source, but basically by PC Standards, it was 2-3 years old Tech. But as you know, that's screaming gear for an old video toaster.

Yay! At least there's news today :)

Speculation should now center on who is going to be next to leave the team. Any nominations? I'd say that leading candidates should be anyone who participated in the launch of the doomed webOS hardware in February. That was a highly anticipated event that ended up being a joke -"Think Big, Think Small, Think Ahead, Think Buh-bye. I need to find another job."

So this is all there is with regard to news on webOS on Monday (and Tuesday)? Sad. Really sad.

I know this has nothing to do with Palm or Webos but since I have had a Pre since the beginning the journey has felt like a story that was big in Philadelphia when I was a kid. I won't go into the whole breakdown but it's about this ship the Khian Sea. You can look it up but I'll tell you ahead of time, it's cargo ended up worthless and at the bottom of the Atlantic, after 2 years of floating aimlessly.

Hey, where's my accessory "deal of the day"? Or, I know, how about another "Round Table", or would that be a "Round Chair" now?

no round table, no webos roundup, no palmcast, too quiet around can almost hear the crickets in the still of the HP webOS night.

Today is Oct. 25th. Sometime ago Meg Whitman proclaimed PC unit's fate would be decided before end of October. With Kerris departure, who is next? Meg is taking her time it appears. Whatever happened to Todd Bradley also? Is he in the mix of being axed?

I have no choice. i still have my pre minus, and the touchpad. eventually when i switch it will have to be to the iPhone 4 (i don't need the Siri voice). So, i will only pay $99 on Sprint. It's just that the iphone I've read has the best resale value against any of the one thousand Android phones out there on the market. Your opinions are welcome.

They sell the regular iPhone4 at Sprint? I thought they only sold the 4S.

How about a story regarding Steve Jobs view on HP, and even the latest guy in charge, Whitman?

I did read a story like that on another website. Would be a good story to re-post here.

HP Stock continues to go down. Makes me wonder why, knowing that spin controls a great deal of the market, they don't say SOMETHING...unless it's actually that bad, and there's no news to spin.

HP lacks one important feature, a reality distortion field.

This is all you will hear from now on - Jaaksi will be next if he's smart.

There is no longer any reason why anybody with the talent to attract an offer from someone else would stay - webOS *and* HP are dead.

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