We’re only a few months into the commercial run of Andy Rubin’s highly anticipated first Essential phone, but all the numbers available to us and the far too often discounts suggest this wasn’t the roaring success many long-time Google fans expected.
For his part, Rubin certainly tried his best to publicly defend the aptly named Essential Phone, or PH-1, in the face of everything from unforeseen delays to key employee departures, screen cutout criticism, headphone jack omission and even a very embarrassing customer privacy gaffe.
As the company presumably cooks up a sequel to the PH-1, as well as long overdue Essential Home availability, the ex-Googler’s expertise as an engineer and his popularity among hardcore Android enthusiasts make his involvement in the day-to-day operations more crucial than ever.
This is no time for a holiday, but Android’s (co-) founding father may have been forced to take a leave of absence as he deals with a potential scandal of a personal nature. The reason behind Andy Rubin’s impromptu Essential furlough hasn’t been confirmed by anyone close to the tech entrepreneur, but it’s probably no coincidence a report of an old “inappropriate relationship” has just come to light.
Back when the Essential Products founder was still a leading Google figure, a female employee working for him filed an HR complaint that prompted an internal investigation which ultimately found Rubin guilty of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
The specific nature of the complaint, the relationship and any punishment Rubin may have received as a consequence all remain unknown. But his Essential leave is not a sign of good things to come from an already badly hurting company.