With Essential already missing Andy Rubin’s self-appointed June ship date, the ambitious startup has been hit with major executive departures. Essential’s VP of marketing left on Friday, while its head of communications left earlier this month. In other news, the company is reportedly in talks with British carriers on a UK launch.
Brian Wallace joined Essential in December to head up marketing. Prior to joining the Rubin-backed venture, he worked at Samsung on the iPhone-targeting “Next Big Thing” campaign and more recently at augmented reality startup Magic Leap.
While his new job as Chief Marketing Officer (via Business Insider) carries a higher position, it is at i.am — will.i.am’s technology venture.
Meanwhile, the company also lost head of communication Andy Fouché earlier in the month. Working with Wallace at Magic Leap, he was also an advisor to Essential. For the time being, Fouché’s position is being held by Essential’s head of product marketing.
It is not clear who is now leading marketing — an important aspect that Essential has yet to really embrace before launching its products. These high-level departures are troubling for a startup that is entering the highly competitive smartphone market and has designs for IoT devices and other areas of consumer technology.
In more optimistic news, the Financial Times reports that Essential is holding talks with several British carriers for a similar exclusivity deal as Sprint in the US and Telus in Canada. EE is named as one possible carrier, with the publication only vaguely noting a release sometime this year.