After months of criticism over the state of Nest, Tony Fadell announced in a blog post today that he is leaving the company. The transition has apparently been in the works since last year and Marwan Fawaz, previously of Charter Communications, is the new CEO. Fadell wills stay on as an adviser to Alphabet and Larry Page.
The past few months have seen reports criticizing Fadell and his management of Nest. Particularly, former Dropcam CEO criticized the Nest CEO’s ‘tyrant bureaucrat’ leadership style. A report from The Information describe how a smart hub product has been waylaid by Fadell.
Besides a redesign to the flagship thermostat, the only new Nest product in recent months is a re-branded Dropcam security camera. Alphabet earnings show that Nest has continued to under perform.
New Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz previous worked at Charter Communications as CTO and at Motorola’s cable box division. Fawaz’s particular area of expertise is in telecommunications. Interestingly, Nest will remain independent and not subsumed into Google’s new hardware division led by former Motorola head Rick Osterloh.
In addition to remaining as an Alphabet adviser, Fadell will “pursue new opportunities to create and disrupt other industries”. Of note, Fadell has a passion project involving electric go-karts. His full statement is as follows:
“Last year, I began discussions with members of my team about my next endeavor. After six years of working on Nest, leading it through 4.5 years of double-digit growth and consistently high marks from customers, I leave Nest in the hands of a strong and experienced leadership team, with Marwan at the helm and a well-defined, two-year product roadmap in place. I’m looking forward to my new role as an advisor to Alphabet and Larry, which will give me more time and flexibility to pursue new opportunities to create and disrupt other industries – and to support others who want to do the same – just as we’ve done at Nest.”
In a statement Alphabet head Larry Page praised Fadell’s work in bringing the idea of smart homes into the mainstream, as well as year over year growth.
“Under Tony’s leadership, Nest has catapulted the connected home into the mainstream, secured leadership positions for each of its products, and grown its revenue in excess of 50% year over year since they began shipping products. He’s a true visionary and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as advisor to Alphabet. I’m delighted that Marwan will be the new Nest CEO and am confident in his ability to deepen Nest’s partnerships, expand within enterprise channels, and bring Nest products to even more homes.”
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