Richard Kerris' "outside opportunity" is the same job, but at Nokia | webOS Nation
 
 

Richard Kerris' "outside opportunity" is the same job, but at Nokia 22

by Derek Kessler Thu, 27 Oct 2011 9:39 am EDT

Hate to throw water on the speculation that Richard Kerris’ abrupt departure from HP was so he could work on getting things set up at the new potential home for webOS, but here comes the bucket. Kerris left his position as the VP of Worldwide Developer Relations for webOS just this Monday, and as of this morning he’s now working for Nokia.

If you haven’t been paying attention, Nokia’s jumped on the Windows Phone bandwagon with a feverish fevor, so yeah, Kerris isn’t going to be working for the guys in Espoo on the webOS front. His new job at Nokia will sound pretty familiar, because it’s almost exactly the same job and title that he held at HP while coordinating things on the developer front: Global Head of Developer Relations. He’s a force to be reckoned with, as Marco Argenti, Nokia SVP of Developer and Marketplace, noted on Twitter:

Great people are what makes the difference, always. I'm excited to welcome Richard Kerris in my team as Global Head of Developer Relations.

Kerris will be a huge asset for Nokia, and we’re going to miss having him around. Good luck, Richard, just don’t take all of the webOS mojo with you like Matias did, okay?

22 Comments

God dam you HP, all of the WebOS talent is scattered about all these companies now, and now almost every mobile OS will have all the features that made WebOS great. =[ maybe Sony will hook us up but i doubt it =/ well looks like ill be with webOS till my pre 2 and my backup pre 2 dies XD so something better happen or ill have to move to WebOS 4.0 aka ICS ;)

Not a huge surprise. I wish him well -- hope he helps Windows Phone (I still think of it as WinMo) the same way he helped WebOS. Odd that he's a Developer-relations guy for Nokia vs. Microsoft.

I've said it earlier and still, sadly, feel this way:

Ex-Palm employees still at Sunnyvale. As much as it pains me to say this: Get Out ASAP. If you don't follow Mr. Kerris's lead, you'll likely find yourself unemployed & job hunting in the 'coming months'.

Yes, I want to believe, but, for those with paychecks & careers involved, I'd recommend belief only if there are facts.

I wish him well -- hope he helps Windows Phone (I still think of it as WinMo) the same way he helped WebOS.

Considering the fate of webOS does this mean you're hoping he'll help run Nokia/WP7 into the ground?

what exactly did he do besides post things on twitter and apologize?

none of the developer programs were well organized i.e. certified webos developer, belt program

only developer relations employees i care about are ben and chuck

EXACTLY! They and Lisa were the only ones who connected with developers in general, and they've been there forever.

Glad to see there are other people who don't blindly support Kerris. Chuq and Ben could've done more if they had someone better in charge.

Well, he did nothing really relevant to webOS; so, I cannot see a bright future to Microkia...

Best Regards... B)

Good riddance.

Kerris will be missed. Although he had some detractors in the developer community, he greatly expanded the developer roadshows and gave some credibility that was lacking in developer relations when Ben and Dion were running the show (seemingly on a shoestring - though I liked their videos, I doubt those succeeded in convincing any high-profile developer houses to use webOS). We can't know really know Kerris's success/failure in getting big name apps to webOS but we did see QuickOffice, Kindle and Zinio (if it ever shows up) and port of various iOS game titles which are all pretty key apps.

More darts for Leo - announcing a change in strategy without having a follow-on strategy already in place continues to subtract value (what value is the team behind it after the losses of key employees?) In the case of webOS (and PSG), how do you maximize the value of and get a licensee/buyer for assets that you damaged by your own actions? Utter stupidity. Hope Meg announces something by Black Friday - otherwise, I would guess we probably won't see an announcement before end of year, in which case, I would see it being much harder to revive webOS. The more penetration Android Ice Cream Sandwich gets makes webOS increasingly a hard sale.

What is there for HP to announce, "We're still out of the WEBOS business."?

Well, it would help if HP announced that they've sold webOS to someone who cares (and has a clue).

If HP announced tomorrow that webOS is going to Amazon and Amazon also announced that they intend to aggressively work to bring out a full line of future products based on it, that would go a long way.

If HP announced tomorrow that webOS is going to Amazon and Amazon also announced that they intend to aggressively work to bring out a full line of future products based on it, that would go a long way.

How so? Over a year ago, Palm announced that webOS is going to HP and HP announced that they intended to aggressively work to bring out a full line of future products based on it. Just wondering why a similar announcement would "go a long way" this time.

The do/say ratio at Amazon is MUCH higher than at HP these days. The track record is vastly different.

2 reasons:
1. Amazon has already demonstrated with the Kindle ecosystem (mobile app on multiple platforms, eReader and now tablet devices, server side book/video/content properties) that they "get" mobile and have a clear strategy and follow-through and have a viable business model.
2. Amazon is led by Jeff Bezos, who has demonstrated long-term vision and follow-through (Kindle and ePublishing was not an instant success and Amazon streaming properties are probably short-term money-losers/long-term investments), and not a wishy-washy board of directors that can't figure out what business it wants HP to be in (a consumer HW business company like Apple or an enterprise business software company like IBM/Oracle).

There are 3 scenarios at this point -
1. HP sells webOS (and quickly) to a company willing to invest in it
2. HP sells webOS to another company just interested in it for the patents (webOS ceases to be an ongoing concern).
3. HP holds on to webOS and it languishes and increasingly becomes irrelevant.

The longer HP waits to make a decision makes the #3 scenario more likely (for example, if HP waited a year to find a buyer, then only the patents would probably have value since iOS/Android/WinPhone would all have advanced during that time and have more users - the investment required by a buyer to make webOS competitive would be too high).

what i don't get is if Amazon already has a kindle fire, what value does webos bring that justitfies the expense of buying it and trying to build out apps and software and hardware?

Amazon is already winning with the kindle. I don't see buying another OS that they'll have to fund as a sound play. I don't see them in any better position then they are now. They'll just have paid billions to have exactly what they have now, an Ebook reader with a kindle skin.

My understanding is that the Kindle Fire has a highly modified version of Android. Amazon might feel more comfortable with total control of their own OS. Maybe the Google+Motorola deal has others concerned?

As much as we all hate to admit it, scenario #3 has already happened.

WebOS is the stranded car on the side of the road watching all of the others speeding past.

Google backing Android was a huge blow to WebOS, and Palm/HP could never have hoped to take a significant chunk out of all the iClone market.

I will cling to my Pre- until it no longer works... but sadly, I think WebOS missed its chance to grab the proverbial brass ring.

The new Nokia line and Android's 4.0 unveil have me dreaing of a world where everything had worked for HP, and key players like Peter Skillman and Matias Duarte were now unveiling an N9/ Lumia 800 styled HP phone with an updated WebOS 4.0, flavored with some of the new features found in Ice Cream Sandwich.

Well I think everybody can stop speculating that someone will be buying the webOS business anytime soon - if anybody would have known it would have been Kerris, and he's just jumped ship.

Good luck to him, he will have a massive dev community to preach to now.

The fat lady has sung, left her dressing room and is now pulling out of the parking lot out back.

I don't know who's really left at HP that knows webOS at the OS level. Usually, you'd think that if HP was going to sell webOS to someone, they'd sell the whole operation. Not that Kerris was one of those, but webOS doesn't have any go-forward value (other than the diminishing patents value) if all HP has to offer is a bunch of manuals.

"I don't know who's really left at HP that knows webOS at the OS level"

There's quite a few of us left, actually. There has been some attrition, but the OS and application frameworks teams are hanging in there. We're just as anxious as you (really more so) to hear what's going to happen to webOS.

Can't blame Kerris for jumping ship. The last time I was laid off, I started looking for a job before my severance date.