Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

HP’s Greenblatt Leaves webOS Post for New Role

Hewlett-Packard has confirmed that Sam Greenblatt, the CTO of the company’s webOS business unit, has left that role.

I just received an email statement on the subject from an HP spokesman: “Sam Greenblatt is moving from webOS to a new role at HP and will continue to assist the team during the transition. The Open webOS project is on schedule and HP remains committed to the roadmap announced in January.”

Naturally, when a senior executive leaves a position for an undefined “new role,” it’s often seen as a signal that he or she is on the way out, and simply remains on the payroll to handle the details of a smooth transition. I’m told that this is not one of those cases, and we’ll see what Greenblatt’s role is soon enough.

This, of course, comes in the wake of HP’s downgrading of its webOS business into an open-source software project last last year, and the departure of several executives from within the group, chief among them Jon Rubinstein, the onetime CEO of Palm, which HP acquired in 2010 for $1.2 billion. Others have included Richard Kerris, former VP of Worldwide Developer Relations, who fled to Nokia; and Brian Hernacki, chief architect of webOS, who left in January.

The webOS unit is certainly a lot smaller than it was a year ago. In February, HP cut 275 people from the group, on top of the 500 or so it fired in September.

Greenblatt’s job change was first reported by the enthusiast site webOS Nation.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work