Lead designer of the Essential phone leaves the company
Andy Rubin’s Essential phone has been fighting a long, hard battle on its march towards release, and it was just dealt another huge blow. The lead designer and head of UX, Liron Damir, has left the startup to work for Google.
Damir’s departure has happened in the wake of two other key employees quitting the company. Andy Fouché, the former communications lead, and Brian Wallace, the previous Vice President of marketing, both parted ways with the startup over the past few months, leaving Essential with holes to fill in some key executive roles. Damir’s departure marks another bump in the road for the startup as it prepares for the release of its first device, the titular Essential Phone.
Damir may be moving on to greener pastures, however; it was reported that he took a job with Google to head the user experience design of the Google Home group. This group is responsible for Google’s connected home gadgets, including the Chromecast and Google Home smart speaker. Prior to his work with Essential, Damir was responsible for leading design at Pebble until its purchase by Fitbit last year and the webOS operating system used by HP (and later LG).
Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android operating system and owner of Essential, hasn’t commented on Damir’s transition as of yet. Rubin has stated that the Essential Phone is nearing release in the coming weeks and should be in consumers’ pockets very soon. However, with executives seemingly dropping like flies, the longevity of the device and the company behind it are currently up in the air. Rubin needs the Essential Phone to be a big hit if his startup is to last much longer.