Former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein departs HP

Wed, Feb 1, 2012


Jon Rubinstein, who former served as the senior VP of Apple’s iPod devision, has left Hewlett-Packard according to a recent report from Arik Hesseldahl at All Things D.

Rubinstein is said to have no immediate plans, and had completed a 12- to 24-month commitment to stay with HP after the acquisition. “Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well,” HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan said.

In a brief comment to AllThingsD, Rubinstein said, “I am going to take a well deserved break after four and a half years of developing webOS.”

Rubinstein, you might remember, had long worked with Apple and worked with Steve Jobs going all the way back to their days at NeXT. After retiring in the mid-2000’s, Rubinstein re-emerged with Palm where he helped spearhead their efforts to take on the iPhone with the Palm Pre. What transpired was a bitter back and forth between the two companies, with Steve Jobs reportedly going so far as to call Rubinstein up and yell at him for allegedly poaching Apple engineers. And, you might also remember, the drama surrounding Palm’s repeated efforts to enable the Palm Pre to sync up with iTunes.

The end of the entire saga is well known: The Palm Pre failed to gain traction in the marketplace and Palm was subsequently acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2010. From there followed a series of corporate missteps with the end result being the upcoming release of webOS as open source. Remember the ill-fated HP TouchPad?

“Rubinstein’s departure is no big surprise,” the report notes. “Sources said he hadn’t been seen at HP’s offices following the decision by former CEO Léo Apotheker to get out of the business of making WebOS-based hardware.”

A few weeks ago, before official word of Rubinstein’s departure emerged, a report claimed that Rubinstein was currently “hiding out” and busying himself with spending his millions.

Not a bad, Ruby. Not bad.


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