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Palm loses webOS user interface design lead Matias Duarte, report says

Palm has lost Matias Duarte, the man responsible for leading the team that designed its webOS user interface, according to a new report.

Newly-acquired mobile company Palm has lost Matias Duarte, the man responsible for leading the team that designed its webOS user interface, according to a new report.

Digital Daily's John Paczkowski reports that Duarte has been hired by Palm rival Google.

Duarte was officially the senior director of human interface and user experience at Palm. If Paczkowski's report is true -- he cites "multiple sources" but no further details -- it shows that HP's acquisition of the company is finally beginning to set in.

Before arriving at Palm in 2007, Duarte was design chief at wireless company Helio and at Danger.

HP's attraction to Palm is no doubt its webOS operating system, so it's curious that one of the folks leading the charge would leave so soon -- much less to a rival platform, Google Android.

Duarte's departure doesn't offer much hope for HP's acquisition of Palm. Most folks joined Palm to challenge Apple; now that they're part of a bigger company, it's now a question of whether they'll get sucked into the corporate black hole -- or worse, continue to defect toward the rapidly innovating Android platform.