Hewlett-Packard’s Rubinstein Leaves as Palm Deal Commitment Ends

Jon Rubinstein, who joined Hewlett- Packard Co. through the ill-fated acquisition of Palm Inc. in 2010, has left the computer maker, a spokeswoman said.

Rubinstein, who had been Palm’s chief executive officer, was most recently an executive in Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)’s personal systems group and managed the debut of the TouchPad last year. He fulfilled a one- to two-year employment commitment and has no plans to work elsewhere, Mylene Mangalindan, a spokeswoman for Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard, said today.

A former Apple Inc. executive who worked on the company’s iMac and iPod products under Steve Jobs, Rubinstein became chairman of Palm in 2007 and CEO in 2009. Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest computer maker, bought Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010.

During his tenure at Hewlett-Packard, Rubinstein oversaw the introduction of the TouchPad in July. A month and a half later, then-CEO Leo Apotheker ceased development of the tablet and of smartphones that used the same WebOS operating system developed at Palm. Apotheker had once planned to include WebOS on every personal computer the company made.

Current Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said Dec. 9 she would release WebOS as an open-source software project, and on Jan. 25 the company said the software would be released under the Apache license in September.

Rubinstein’s departure was first reported today by the blog “All Things Digital.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Ricadela in San Francisco at aricadela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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