These decisions were made by different CEOs. The last HP CEO wanted to turn HP into another SAP (his previous employer) and turn HP into a totally different company and sell its hardware division. He also decided to spread fud about webOS not being supported which made consumers not want to buy them as he wanted to leave the tablet market. The other CEO Hurd bought it.The board fired him within a week which was the right thing to do.
You can't just become something else unrelated as it has failed many many times if you study business cases.
The current CEO decided to do a risk analysis, and determined it was totally retarded and made no business sense to sell its hardware division. Unfortunately, she did not do an analysis with WebOS because HP laid off the whole staff from the last CEO.
What irks me is WebOS failed because of the last CEO, not because of the product itself. It was only on the market for what a month! Then HP told everyone they were selling it. Once that happened consumers stayed away from it. Then the CEO basically said, see they are staying away from it therefore it is a failure! bla.
I am agaisn't excessive CEO compensation, but a bad CEO can really fuck up a company and its product line as evident in HP. People always chose Windows over Linux, Mac, OS2, because they want to bet on the winner and not invest in a failed product. This sealed WebOS before people even knew what it was sadly. It was brand new to the tablet world when HP pulled the plug.
I forgot the lady's name but she seems to have more business sense than the last 3 CEOs. I would try to save WebOS, but it maybe too late. Development has stopped and Andriod and IOS are moving ahead and getting more and more updated. Even Windows Phone 7 which is behind is starting to catch up in capabilities to it.
What a mess and I am glad I am not the CEO of HP. ... ok I would actually like to run it into the ground for a year and collect a golden parachute and become rich, but still besides the point.