HP Hires Former Apple Exec to Boost webOS Developer Interest



Can a former Apple executive help HP’s sputtering webOS gain some respect? That may be the goal of HP’s hiring of Richard Kerris, who headed Apple’s global developer relations. The news followed a Wednesday announcement that HP is “embarking on a new era of webOS” with plans to bring Palm’s webOS (now a HP unit) to Windows PCs. In an ironic twist, the message came from HP senior vice president Jon Rubinstein, also a former Apple executive.

Kerris, who reportedly spent 2001 to 2007 at Apple managing special projects and served as the company’s senior director of worldwide devloper relations will become HP’s VP of Worldwide Developer Relations. The hiring was reportedly announced during a gathering of developers following Rubinstein’s statement.

The former Apple executive appears to have been given the task of boosting developer interest in webOS as a mobile platform. The webOS is viewed as the main reason why HP acquired Palm in 2010.

Palm has 3.7 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers after losing 0.5 percent marketshare during the quarter stretch between September 2010 and the end of last year, according to research firm comScore.