HP places webOS division under technology chief

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Hewlett-Packard Co. has designated a home for its webOS mobile software division, but its future remains in doubt.

On Thursday a company spokesman confirmed that the webOS division, which HP acquired from Palm and used to run the software behind the smartphones and tablets that HP is now discontinuing, will report to Shane Robison, HP’s chief strategy and technology officer.

The move shows HP’s intention to keep the software alive in one form or another while it abandons its smartphone and tablet efforts. Last month HP announced its decision to abandon those businesses, a sign of surrender to Apple Inc. and its uber-popular iPhone and iPad. HP had said that it intended to put the software on all of its PCs, but the company is now exploring a sale or spinoff of its PC division and webOS’s future is uncertain.