webOS developer relations head Fred Patton leaving HP, Enda McGrath taking interim lead | webOS Nation

webOS developer relations head Fred Patton leaving HP, Enda McGrath taking interim lead 28

by Derek Kessler Fri, 04 May 2012 6:34 pm EDT

Fred Patton

He hadn't held the job for very long, but today HP has told us that veteran Palm employee and webOS Developer Relations head Fred Patton is departing the company for the ever vague "opportunity outside" of HP. Here's the official (and brief) statement on the matter:

"Fred Patton is leaving HP to pursue another opportunity outside the company.  Enda McGrath will lead the developer relations team on an interim basis as we continue our work with the community on Open webOS."

Now, you might be thinking, "Hey, didn't Patton just get that job a few weeks ago?" You're right, it was unofficially unveiled six weeks and one day ago that Patton had taken the head position of webOS Developer Relations. Patton had stepped in after the departure of veritable rock star developer relations VP Richard Kerris in October. And if you'll flashback with us to that tumultuous time in late October, you'll find similar wording of "to pursue an opportunity outside of the company." Kerris, of course, ended up landing at Nokia where he's been working to build up the Windows Phone catalog of apps, along with a handful of former HP webOS developer relations staff.

For his part, Enda McGrath is an eleven year Palm veteran, having worked in technical and developer support functions over the past decade. Yeah, he's been with Palm for a while - all the way back to the days of Palm OS 5.0 and the Tungsten line of PDAs (ah, those were the days). We'll admit we're not super familiar with McGrath, though we hope that we and the community will get to know him a bit better until such time that HP decides on a permanent lead for developer relations.

We're hearing that HP's wanting to work on expanding their developer relations beyond app developers contributing to the App Catalog; they're hoping to bring in a wider community of open source developers to help contribute to Open webOS. The help facilitate this goal, HP's looking at its own employees and possible external hires to fill the vacancy on a more permanent basis. All we can hope is that they manage to pick somebody good who can stay on for a while... just when we feel like we're getting to know somebody they're whisked away to corners unknown.


With all of the lack of stability, it's hard to take HP's claims of commitment to even an open webOS seriously. They can't even convince their own people to stick it out.,

Starting to feel like they are trying to engineer any ending that will not allow some other viable entity to pick up the OS and potentially embarrass them by doing a better job with it.

honestly all i've ever expected of hp is that they'd release it to open source and not make any more devices. I think that's what will happen. they'll release it an not make more devices. I never read "support" to mean they'd put tons of money in or make phones or something. I took it to mean if some open source person has a question about how something works they'll get an answer. Like phone support or developer support. But that's always all i've expected.

This should be HP's theme song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNQRfBAzSzo

Looking forward to the comments here to compare them to the other article from 6 weeks ago. Should prove to be...well...interesting...maybe.

Yeah they should, troll.

Just for geek kicks, each person of note in the Open WebOS staff, should have to wear a red USS Enterprise Security Team shirt. Every time we learn a new name, they're dead before the after the next commercial stopset.


I love Queen, that's why my screen name has a Q.... ahahaha


Yeah man...great music. Better than most of the stuff we have today.

Before we know it, only Adora is going to be left.

Adora and Ben Combee. If either one of those leaves then HP should drop any pretense of progressing Open webOS.

Adora and her iPhone....

Every device with a browser is an Enyo device. =]

Ridiculous. Hp seems to be ruining any positive news of meeting open webos milestones with its personnel losses. And the last few hires/fires seemed uninspiring at best. I would think that the open webos project would attract some interest within HP and silicon valley.

Costa Concordia!

All the webOS staff is either getting fired (the lower ones), or getting poached off one by one. When's the last time you heard of anyone new being hired?

Most of the webOS staff has left.....what's left....well....have to ask why??

I've met enda, he was at a chicago webos meetup. He was an energetic guy that seemed to care about webos and the community... This may be a good thing...

Similar statements have been made about pretty much anyone who had anything resembling a leadership role related to webOS.

He did well to get them through that tough time, and departed after the turnaround for the most part. He did a good job in my opinion and I look forward to seeing how he can do here.

That little gem was stated about non other than Apotheker when he was first announced as CEO.

"This may be a good thing..."

You are joking, right?

I assume what you are trying to read into the cards is that he puts his love for "webOS and the community" before that of his family and his job and he is trying to breakout of HP and somehow try to improve webOS from outside of HP. That is ridiculous. If he were leaving HP for something that was for the betterment of webOS, HP would be proclaiming this from the rooftops, not burying it in "other opportunities".

Guaranteed he will have nothing to do with webOS once he leaves HP's offices.

You do know that creepingmee was talking about Enda, the guy taking over the lead of DevRel, not Fred (the guy who is leaving), right?

Nope. :-(

Sorry, I completely missed that, I read it exactly backwards. With all these people leaving the names start to blur together.

Yeah, I can understand that. I believe Enda will stay with HP for a long while. I worked with him when I interned in devrel last Summer and he's a great guy (as was Fred). Enda has recently headed the DTS (developer technical support) team and is the most senior member still in devrel, having preceded even Chuq.

I believe this is probably the best move for devrel going forward as all of the previous leaders (in recent years, anyhow, with the exception of Fred) have been brought in from the outside whereas Enda is a long-time Palm veteran and is very supportive of and participates in the community.

You know the drill guys, when he was announced six weeks ago you needed to say "this could be a good thing", now you need to rubbish Patton and suggest he wasn't upto the job. Then in about four weeks or so (when Mcgrath quits), we do the same again.

LOL! Six weeks is forever in the technology world. Perhaps it was about time for some new blood, right? Seriously, it does seem that there isn't really a clear path for webOS development that people can buy into. There's no other conclusion that anyone can reach. I wonder what resources HP is actually investing in this. They certainly haven't hired anyone to do anything.

they should hire me!!!
...or someone from this AWESOME community...

we make things for the love to webOS and for free... now imagine what we could do full time... and... with a check!!!!

webOS would become the MOST POWERFUL OS in the world!!!! hahahhaha


I am from inside and know webOS is hiring 15 people. Not everybody is excited about open source. People with passion for open source are needed. Will post once the job postings are live.


So according to his twitter account, it seems that Patton was also recruited to Nokia...

Was just about to post the Nokia news. Annoying that they keep poaching but we have Enda and Jason R, woot.
Jury is still out on how all the different flavors of WIN are going to land.