Whitman: “We don’t know what kind of company HP is”

Whitman: “We don’t know what kind of company HP is”

HP’s treatment of WebOS will go down in the books as a cautionary tale of corporate neglect. WebOS was a rare jewel of an OS that just needed some love, but instead it fell victim to a CEO bent on changing the direction of a company away from consumer products.

Today, news has surfaced by way of The Guardian that sources are saying HP will shutter WebOS and lay off employees in November.

We’re hearing something a bit different.

In an all-hands internal meeting, Whitman told the employees: “In all honesty right now we don’t know what kind of company HP is. We’re still figuring that out.”

HP may indeed kill off WebOS, but it also may not. The decision has yet to be made and won’t be made before December, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Apparently, HP has been waffling about what to do with the WebOS division internally, and the employees are hearing different tales from week to week. This week, the story is that HP may shutter WebOS and keep the employees around to work in the newly reprieved Personal Systems Group on PC projects or even printers.

That said, there are said to still be ‘many’ companies interested in buying WebOS and HP has even considered keeping the division alive as-is.

No official announcements have been made internally as to what is going to happen to the division or its employees.

Frankly it looks as if no decision has been made internally about what exactly to do and anything that you hear about the status of WebOS or employees in that division may very well change at any moment.

Conflicting messages continue to be sent from Ari Jaaksi and CEO Meg Whitman about what the future of WebOS will be.

One thing that is for sure, the WebOS team is likely frustrated with HP and we’ve heard that if HP decides to keep the division, many members of the software group may leave of their own volition because of the way that the product has been treated.

I’d imagine that would be even more likely if HP decided to make them work on printers.

It probably doesn’t help that the WebOS team lost an advocate yesterday as Developer Relations head Richard Kerris went to Nokia. Hopefully Whitman and the other executives can decide what kind of company HP is and make a move on WebOS soon.

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