Longtime tech blogger and evangelist Robert Scoble has resigned from the Transformation Group, a “mixed reality” consulting firm he co-founded earlier this year, following multiple allegations of sexual assault.
The allegations against Scoble began coming out last Thursday, starting with a blog post by journalist Quinn Norton, and grew over the next day. By Friday evening, Scoble had published a Facebook post saying he was “deeply sorry to the people I’ve caused pain to” and acknowledging that he had “behaved in ways that were inappropriate.”
On Sunday evening, Scoble’s partner in the Transformation Group, Shel Israel, wrote that Scoble had resigned from the company. “His decision is related to recent revelations that Robert engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, which he has confirmed are for the most part true,” Israel wrote. He added that Scoble would be “cancelling his public activities for the remainder of this year.”
The Transformation Group is a consulting company focused on helping established brands get in early on the growing augmented and virtual reality markets. The company’s site says, “We believe Apple AR will soon transform businesses as profoundly as the iPhone did a decade ago.” The firm was working with MetaVRse, among others; Scoble had also signed on as a consultant for the 360-degree camera company Insta360.
Though Scoble hasn’t worked for a major technology company in over a decade, he’s had a small but influential role in the tech sphere. He started blogging in the early 2000s and eventually took a role as an evangelist for Microsoft, where he was surprisingly successful at connecting with consumers. Since then, he’s worked as a blogger elsewhere and is known for making bullish predications (often unrealistically so) about consumer technology, and arguably for singlehandedly taking down Google Glass.
The assault claims against Scoble began coming out in the wake of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, which have sent a ripple through just about every industry — tech included. For the tech industry, the biggest ouster so far has been at Amazon, where the head of its film studio, Roy Price, resigned following reports of harassment. Meanwhile, the gaming forum NeoGAF has fallen apart after sexual misconduct allegations were levied against its owner. And Twitter has begun rolling out stricter policies on sexual misconduct in response to user complaints.
It’s not clear exactly how long Scoble plans to sit out from public activities. Israel says Scoble is canceling his plans for “the remainder of this year,” which is just another two months. But after this, it’s hard to imagine seeing Scoble as a regular, prominent voice at tech industry events the way he used to be.
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