Jon Rubinstein

Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm who orchestrated its $1.2 billion sale to Hewlett-Packard in 2010, is no longer heading Palm. And Palm itself is no more: HP has renamed the division the “webOS global business unit.”

“It’s basically a renaming and shuffling,” an HP spokeswoman said.

Stephen DeWitt, who was the senior vice president in charge of HP’s American PC business, will lead the new division, known as HP’s Personal Systems Group.

Rubinstein, whose career included a stint as the head of Apple’s iPod business, will be senior vice president for innovation Inc., the largest online retailer, appointed Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Jon Rubinstein to its board, adding expertise in mobile devices as it expands sales of the Kindle electronic book reader.

Rubinstein, who joined HP when the computer maker purchased Palm Inc. for $1.2 billion in July, was elected yesterday, Seattle-based Amazon said today in a regulatory filing.

Rubinstein, who worked under Steve Jobs at Apple Inc., joins Amazon as it expands retailing services for mobile phones and transforms the Kindle into a multibillion-dollar business

When Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest computer maker, acquired Palm, the struggling maker of the Pre and Pixi smartphones, in late April, it was a much-needed lifeline for a company that was battling to stay afloat in a increasingly fierce mobile landscape.

Jon Rubinstein, the former chief executive of Palm who now operates Palm's global business unit within H.P., says the company simply "ran out of runway."

HP has confirmed that its Windows 7-based Slate 500 tablet hasn't been canned and will be pitched at big biz customers this coming autumn. HP's plan, mentioned to Engadget, is no great surprise. As we noted earlier this week, HP's acquisition of Palm led many observers to assume that the Slate 500 might be replaced, before its release, by a WebOS version. But enterprise buyers are a notoriously conservative lot and far more likely to accept a Windows-based machine than something running an OS as outré - to them - as Palm's offering.

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