stirlo.space

The embattled Essential company takes another hit as Andy Rubin takes leave

Andy Rubin, “father of Android” now facing allegations of misconduct and potential abuse of power whilst employed at Google in 2014…


Google has been through the ringer lately, as rumours of sexism, racist biases and other disgusting ideas and actions of their board and upper echelons are leaking to the public.

The Essential phone and brand has also suffered, even with “insane” Venture Capital investments the Essential Phone has not been a large selling device, and is available for 1/4 to 1/2 the original planned retail price; even though it features some quite innovative ideas and technology.

The Essential Phone, an interesting proposition- Essential site

The Essential Phone, an interesting proposition- Essential site

It is unclear if this leave of absence is related to the affair at Google, the poor launch and sales of the Essential phone and accessories, or as Rubin and the Essential spokespeople describe the leave as “nothing to see here”.

“Any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual and did not involve any person who reported to him,”… “Mr. Rubin was never told by Google that he engaged in any misconduct while at Google and he did not, either while Google or since.” — Michael Sitrick, Spokesman for Mr. Rubin

Andy Rubin, By Yoichiro Akiyama from Tokyo, Japan - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Andy Rubin, By Yoichiro Akiyama from Tokyo, Japan - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Google also declined to comment, though this is normal behaviour for them. Employee relationships are not explicitly forbidden nor encouraged at the corporation in the past.

As Google is the most popular search engine in the English-speaking world, it is quite hard to track down information that is negative towards this corporation at all.

Sergei Brin
By Joi Ito - originally posted to Flickr as Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, CC BY 2.0

Sergei Brin
By Joi Ito - originally posted to Flickr as Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, CC BY 2.0

An affair between the married Sergei Brin and the Amanda Rosenberg, marketing-director for Google Glass began fairly soon after Sergei Brin was given a “ten good years left” warning—perhaps erroneously—from his wives 23andMe genetic testing corporation.

Anne Wojcicki had set up the corporation in 2006—with a personal motivation—she was worried about inheriting early onset diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Brin’s great-aunt had Parkinson’s and his mother also was diagnosed with the disease shortly after the pair met, in 1999. When Sergei Brin’s test came back from the budding company, he was given bad news; that he indeed carried the mutated gene and that he could also fall victim to early-onset dementia… Perhaps causing a slight “mid life crisis”, he began donating to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and other Parkinson’s-related charities and institutes of research. He began working on the “secret division” of Google, now simply known as “X”.

While he was making himself quite the celebrity, even being compared to Tony Stark, his wife was raising their new born child. Over the next year, she and Rosenberg developed a close friendship which became strained when she discovered private correspondence between her husband and her new friend…

Sergei moved out of their family home soon after this, and Amanda broke up with her boyfriend of the time, who was also likely unaware of any affair.

On the 28th of August, 2013 there were two interesting break-ups. The engineer that was dating Amanda announced that he was moving to Hong Kong, and Sergei Brin and Anne Wojcicki announced that they were splitting up. The other heads of Google were not happy with Sergei’s conduct, but obviously would not comment publicly on any such matters.

Interestingly, the couple did not divorce until 2015.

Rob Nail, Associate Founder and CEO, Singularity University; Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder, 23andMe; and Steve Ciesinski, President, SRI International speak at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, held on June 22-24, 2016 at Stanford University in Palo Alto.

Rob Nail, Associate Founder and CEO, Singularity University; Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder, 23andMe; and Steve Ciesinski, President, SRI International speak at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, held on June 22-24, 2016 at Stanford University in Palo Alto.

A now infamous memo was circled around by a software developer, James Damore, who alleged that the company was sacrificing technological advances for the sake of their perception for diversity and argued that women were “biologically inferior” to men for the tasks that they were working on…

When the memo leaked to the general public and media, the calls for his resignation became quite loud as his misunderstanding of science and other shockingly sexist ideas were laid bare for all to read. While many from left–right are stating that his firing was wrong, Damore has sort of capitalised on this newfound fame amongst the Mens Rights, and Right Wing side of the tech community.

James Damore maintains that he was “fired for truth”—operating a twitter account and website on that URL—and selling merchandise such as “Gulag” t-shirts in the Google logo font and shape.

As the story develops we will cover it, it is a shame for the Essential corporation, and more shame upon the Google executives that had chosen to cover up instead of expose cheating and affairs amongst their colleagues, especially the “wrong-looking” relationships between Executives or higher level staff and their underlings.

See our site, respond or comment on Twitter or Google Plus.