“Well, I'm not sure I would have sold the company to HP. That's for sure. Talk about a waste.”
— Jon Rubinstein, former Palm CEO and former SVP of hardware engineering at Apple, responding to an interview question by Fierce Wireless's Phil Goldstein.

The question posed to Rubinstein: “Looking back, if you could do things over again with the rollout of webOS, would you do anything differently?”

Rubinstein gave the above answer, then continued:

Not that I had any choice because when you sell a company you don’t get to decide that. Obviously, the board and shareholders decide that. If we had known they were just going to shut it down and never really give it a chance to flourish, what would have been the point of selling the company? I think the deal we had with Verizon really hurt us, but who knew that at the time? These things are all hindsight.

While at Apple, Rubinstein was instrumental in the development of the iPod before leaving for Palm in 2007. At Palm, he spearheaded the webOS software that ran on the line of Pre and Pixi smartphones. HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010 and released the ill-fated TouchPad tablet in 2011, which ran webOS as well. HP CEO Leo Apotheker killed off HP’s consumer product lines — the TouchPad didn’t even last two months — before being ousted himself later that year and replaced by Meg Whitman.

Rubinstein’s entire interview with FierceWireless is worth a read.

Rubinstein on HP’s purchase of Palm: ‘Talk about a waste’ [FierceWireless]

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