All Things Digital is reporting today that Palm's Senior Director of Human Interface and User Experience Matias Duarte has left the company and evidently hired on at Google. Duarte was the mastermind behind the Palm's webOS development. While Palm confirmed All Things Digital that Duarte has left Palm, the company refused to tell where he's going but multiple sources told All Things Digital that it's Google, where he will work on the development of - surprise, surprise - Android. As All Things Digial wrote, "Duarte's departure is (definitely) a significant loss for Palm and its new owner Hewlett Packard, which has said it plans to "double down" on webOS".
Duarte's user experience and information design experience is well known in the industry. Before he started at Palm in 2007, Duarte was design chief at Helio, and prior to that he led the team that created the Danger Hiptop mobile device.
UPDATE: Google has just confirmed that Duarte has indeed joined Google as the Director User Experience for Android. However, Google declined further comment. Quite an interesting win for Google. While Android as an OS is pretty good, the UI has still weaknesses while - IMHO - webOS has one of the most user friendly UIs today.
Cheers ~ Arne