Exclusive: High-Profile Hires for Palm–Nokia’s Ari Jaaksi and Samsung’s Victoria Coleman
Earlier this month, Ari Jaaksi resigned as head of Nokia’s MeeGo division, citing “personal reasons” as the cause for his departure.
Turns out “personal reasons” was actually a euphemism for “I’m joining Palm.”
Sources close to the company tell me that Jaaksi has been hired on as senior vice president of webOS at Hewlett-Packard’s Palm division. He’s to start in November, after relocating to the Bay Area, and when he does, he’ll lead Palm’s webOS engineering team.
Jaaksi is already a big fan, as evidenced by this observation on his blog back in May: “I used to use a Palm Pre a lot. What a great device. What an astounding software. I was so disappointed to see it not getting the traction it deserves. I really hope that now that it has found a new home @ HP it will rise again! And by the way, I have an extra sweet spot for Pre. It shares a lot of stuff with Maemo and N900.”
And Jaaksi isn’t Palm’s only new high-profile hire. Victoria Coleman, who recently headed up Samsung’s R&D Center in San Jose, is joining the company as well. Her task: To oversee platform and application development for next-generation versions of webOS.
Palm has also managed to pull some talent from within HP. Steven McArthur, the SVP of the company’s consumer applications business, is now heading up product marketing for Palm. Joining him are Enrique Lores, SVP of PSG worldwide sales, who is leading the Palm sales organization. Steve Manser, SVP of product development, oversees product management.
Quite the lineup, and one that bodes well for Palm’s webOS devices and its future at HP.