The Information reported on Tuesday that the head of Essential, Andy Rubin, had taken a temporary leave of absence from his leading role at the company on Monday. The move came just as a 2014 report resurfaced, indicating he had carried on an “inappropriate” relationship with a subordinate at Google.
Rubin is best known as the creator of Android, the mobile operating system that went on to become the most widely used smartphone software in the world. He departed the company in 2014, just a while after the incident and subsequent report were issued at Mountain Valley.
Essential came to be in 2015, and it launched its first product this year after months of speculation and hype. The Essential PH-1 is a phone with a different philosophy, but it challenges the flagships of Google, Samsung, and Apple. The market results, however, have fallen short of the aspirations.
BREAKING: Andy Rubin, the creator of Android and a key Google exec, left the company after an internal investigation determined he had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate https://t.co/IUsdFwuP4O
— The Information (@theinformation) November 29, 2017
Rubin had asked to step aside for a while before the report came out
According to internal sources at Essential, the founder had asked earlier this month at a board meeting to take some time off from the company to sort out some “personal issues.” Whether he referred to the things said in the report or some other stuff, remains unconfirmed.
Rubin’s spokesman Mike Sitrick said that the CEO’s relationship with a female team member had nothing “inappropriate” about it and that by all means, it was consensual, even if it is against Google’s rules to be involved with someone at the workplace.
The clarifications come in regard to a wave of sexual harassment and misconduct that has hit the tech industry in recent months. High profile figures leading capital venture firms and executives like Travis Kalanick have stepped down from their positions to reflect on their behavior toward female employees.
Obviously there is more to come in Andy Rubin story. Simply having a relationship w/ subordinate has never been enough to get a top exec booted from Google.
— Dan Primack (@danprimack) November 29, 2017
Essential continues to struggle with their target audience
Meanwhile, there is an inherent company issue that has nothing to do with rumors about leadership and personal relationships. The Essential PH-1, the only product made by Essential so far, has been a flop in the market as it struggles to find a target audience.
The people who want it either can’t have it because of manufacturing delays or don’t want to have it anymore after user reports and finding out through their own experience that signature features like the camera are actually buggy and not that great after all.
Even with the incentive of continuous Android support over the next couple of years, more and more companies are jumping aboard this ship hand in hand with Google. Samsung is the most notorious one, but Nokia is one of the many rising powerhouses that also managed to strike a deal with the giant.
Source: The Information