Palm Mobile Design Guru Matias Duarte Leaves Palm

palm mobile design guru matias duarte leaves logo

HP’s acquisition of Palm isn’t even a done deal yet, but the takeover might just have hit its first major snag: according to All Things Digital Palm’s mobile design guru Matias Duarte has left the company and, according to the story and backed up by another source, will apparently begin hanging his hat at Google, presumably working to bring together the rather scattershot Android user interface.

Duarte signed on with Palm in 2007 and led the development of the company’s well-regarded webOS—and that OS is the bulk of the reason why Hewlett-Packard was interested in putting down $1.2 billion to acquire Palm. Before Palm, Duarte was the design chief at forward-looking MVNO Helio (acquired by Virgin in 2008), and before that he helped create the Danger Hiptop (Danger was acquired by Microsoft in 2008).

HP and Palm are still working out the details of the acquisition, and while HP will certainly wind up with the intellectual property behind webOS, significant losses in Palm’s talent pool would hamper HP’s ability to “double down” on webOS and as a platform for mobile devices.

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