At the end of May, Andy Rubin of Android fame grabbed headlines with the official announcement of the Essential Phone, a new smartphone from his start-up Essential company. Although the Essential Phone is equipped with flagship level hardware, barely any bezels, and a unique titanium and ceramic body, there were still some questions about how Essential would set themselves apart from competitors. Some skepticism continued to ramp when the company missed their shipping date at the end of June and has not provided any updates since then. The rumors and conjecture should really get heated up now with two recent departures of some senior executives with the company.
Brian Wallace was named the Essential vice president of manufacturing last December. Now, a mere seven months later, he has moved on to take on the role of CMO with i.am+, the will.i.am founded connected lifestyle company. One of Wallace’s claims to fame is the “Next Big Thing” marketing campaign from his time with Samsung.
Wallace’s departure comes on the heels of another executive leaving the company, Andy Fouché, who was the head of communications. Both of the resignations appear to have been triggered by Essential’s failure to ship the PH-1 Phone on schedule. In an interesting twist, both Fouché and Wallace worked at Magic Leap together.
While Essential continues to field questions about the availability of the Essential Phone, Kenzo Hing, the company’s head of product marketing, will be running communications. However, he has not responded to any requests for comment thus far.