Palm team loses Mozilla hires after just one year

Palm loses key Mozilla recruits in a year

Palm's team was dealt another hit in the wake of the HP takeover today as it lost the two key Mozilla leaders that it had hired just over a year ago. Both Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith were quitting the company to start their own venture. The two were leaving with a favorable view of their roles as webOS developer community directors but wanted to focus on the web, a larger open platform, as a viable way of earning money for developers. Working with HP was good while the company, Almaer and Galbraith had aligned views, but they wanted an environment where a loss of control wasn't possible.

"When we are both aligned, things can work out, but as soon as the company has a change in strategy and we misalign, developers are often left by the wayside," Almaer said. "This mirrors the world of dictatorships. If you could guarantee your dictator is fully aligned with you there is a good chance that the system will be far more efficient than a democracy. History has taught us though that 99.9% of the time this isn't the case. The Open Web gives us an escape valve. It has its own problems and complexities (just as democracy), but that is all critically worth it."

Galbraith also pointed out that a pure web option would ensure that a device and its content platform were "not irrevocably coupled" as they have been in the mobile sphere, such as iOS apps and even webOS. The current climate was as though Sony's MiniDisc was widely used but was never licensed out, preventing anyone else from sharing the same technology.

Going back from a big to a small company again would also be a timely change, Almaer wrote.

The departure came just as HP had shipped webOS 2.0 through the Palm Pre 2 but kept up a mostly uninterrupted string of departures from the Palm team for other companies. Apart from lost a VP to Nokia and has also lost other leaders to Google and to Apple. Former Apple VP and Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein is so far one of the few remaining executives from the phone designer. [via TechCrunch]

  1. SockRolid 10/23, 04:33am

    You remember him, right? The genius behind Foleo?

    Maybe HP can get him to design a Foleo 2 for them.
    It would be a "hardware companion" to the Pre 2.
    Wow, it could be a MacBook Air killer!

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