How Will HP Hold webOS Talent

Steve Wildstrom / August 18th, 2011

HP logoJoshua Topolsky at This IsMyNext has details on an all-hands meeting at which Stephen DeWitt, head of HP’s webOS business unit, declared that “we are not walking away from webOS” and promised an outline for the future within a couple of weeks.

In an earlier post, I outlined some of the difficulties that any webOS licensing strategy would face. By DeWitt inadvertently points out one I overlooked: How  on earth is HP going to hang on to any good talent in a market where Apple, Google, Microsoft, and a flock of handset makers are all competing fiercely? The webOS unit is a defunct operation within a division–HP’s Personal Systems Group–whose own future is highly uncertain. A first-rate engineer can sit around waiting to see how things turn out–or can have half a dozen job offers nearly immediately.

Richard Kerris, director of webOS developer relations, tried to put the best face on things in a tweet, but the effect and more sad than encouraging:

Steve Wildstrom

Steve Wildstrom is veteran technology reporter, writer, and analyst based in the Washington, D.C. area. He created and wrote BusinessWeek’s Technology & You column for 15 years. Since leaving BusinessWeek in the fall of 2009, he has written his own blog, Wildstrom on Tech and has contributed to corporate blogs, including those of Cisco and AMD and also consults for major technology companies.
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