Essential, The Smartphone Company Of Disgraced Former Google Exec Andy Rubin, Is Shutting Down
Essential Products, the smartphone maker based by Android creator and former Google government Andy Rubin, introduced on Wednesday that it’s shutting down, following months of scandal and scrutiny of its chief.
Having raised greater than $300 million from traders together with Amazon and Chinese tech big Tencent, the corporate launched its Essential Phone in May 2017. However, that product and later units by no means managed to realize traction, whereas new reviews about Rubin’s alleged sexual misconduct whereas at Google and the circumstances of his departure led to widespread protests.
In 2018, the New York Times reported that Rubin left Google in 2014 following a reputable grievance of sexual misconduct during which he was stated to have pressured a subordinate into performing oral intercourse. Google’s board and executives have been conscious of the grievance, however lined it up, issuing a glowing press launch about Rubin, investing in his corporations, and sending him off with a $90 million exit package deal. When the data turned public years later, it sparked company-wide outrage that led to a worldwide worker walkout.
Rubin didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Essential’s closure.
An Essential weblog put up asserting the corporate’s closure didn’t point out Rubin, focusing as a substitute on a brand new cell and software program product it had launched in October known as Product Gem.
“Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers,” the corporate stated. “Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential.”
An organization spokesperson declined to remark additional, telling BuzzFeed News it was a “tough day.” They stated that Essential employed 114 folks, together with Rubin. The weblog put up famous that its employees have been situated in Palo Alto, California, and Bangalore, India.
While Rubin confirmed off Gem, a slim, sweet bar–formed cellphone on Twitter late final 12 months, he has since deleted these tweets, together with others that referenced the sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to him. Earlier this 12 months, he took his Twitter account personal, blocked lots of his followers, and deleted most of his historical past on the social community since late 2017. Rubin’s account is now public once more.
In October, BuzzFeed News reported that Rubin quietly left Playground Global, the enterprise capital outfit he based, which was additionally a serious investor in Essential. In his May 2019 departure, which went unannounced, Rubin was paid greater than $9 million to finish his enterprise relationships with the agency, in keeping with a supply. Google was one of many many high-profile traders in Playground.
“Essential built an incredible team and created a new standard in the smartphone ecosystem,” a spokesperson for Playground stated in an announcement Wednesday. “While commercial success was elusive, we’re proud to have supported the dozens of engineers, product managers, sales and operational staff who worked so hard to explore this opportunity over the past four years.”