The exodus of talent at Essential continues as it was revealed today that the head of UX for the Andy Rubin startup has joined Google. Liron Damir retains a similar design position as he held at Essential with his new role as head of user experience for Google Home.
Damir was only at Essential for four months as head of UX before announcing that he was joining Google two days ago in a LinkedIn post (via Variety). Before that, he was at Pebble for over two years as head of design before rising to vice president. At the wearable company, Damir “oversaw the creation of Pebble OS” and shifted the company towards a health focus before the Fitbit acquisition.
Prior to that, he was a creative director working on webOS at LG following that acquisition. His LinkedIn profile notes work on the UX and visual design of the smart TV operating system.
That experience will likely aid in his new job working on the smart speaker with Google Assistant. He interestingly makes note of multiple “Google Home products” and the “light-speed pace” at which the teams are progressing.
Announced at I/O 2016 and going on sale later that year, not too much is known about this year’s upcoming device. One report hints at a combined Google Home and Wifi product.
We likely won’t see Damir’s contribution to Google products for quite a while. This latest move reaffirms Google’s commitment to the hardware space and the growing team under Rick Osterloh. For Essential, this is the third notable departure in recent weeks. The company has yet to ship its Essential Phone, while not much is known about its competing Home product.