In a blog post late today, Nest co-founder and CEO Tony Fadell has announced that he’s leaving the company. His departure from the Google-owned company doesn’t mean he’s leaving the family, however — he’s moving on to an advisory role with Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
Marwan Fawaz is stepping into Fadell’s role as the CEO of Alphabet. He’s a former exec of Charter, ADT and Motorola Home, so he’s well-positioned to take over the job leading Google’s smart home efforts.
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Fadell said that “Marwan’s extensive technology and engineering knowledge, his experience with global service providers, as well as his background in connected home platforms will be valuable in continuing our trajectory, especially in scaling the business, working with our partners, and supporting our enterprise channels.”
Nest’s thermostat and smart smoke detector have won plaudits as smart home devices that are also easy to use and well-designed. But it’s been a year since Nest came out with a new hardware product, and there have been numerous reports of the company having a “toxic” work environment.
The company also lost public standing when it discontinued support for the Revolv smart hub, meaning that anyone who purchased the year-old hardware is going to see it bricked in the near future.
With that context — and the late Friday announcement — it’s difficult to see this as a true promotion for Fadell. He frames it as such in the blog post, but you have to wonder whether this is a deliberate move from Alphabet execs to transition him away from direct management and specific products.