Tony Fadell announced that he is leaving Alphabet Inc.’s smart-home products subsidiary Nest as CEO, effective immediately. Nest has faced problems over the past year, including product outages and delays, management complaints, and missing sales goals, according to various media reports. Fadell made this unexpected announcement on Friday. In a blog post, he said that the time is right to “leave the Nest.”
Fadell Brought iPod To Life
Fadell will continue to work as an advisor to Larry Page, the Google co-founder and chief executive officer of the holding company Alphabet. But he won’t be involved in the company’s day-to-day operations.
Fadell and Marwan Fawaz founded Nest six years ago to modernize home gadgets. The hardware company was acquired by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion.
Fadell will be replaced by Marwan Fawaz as CEO. Fawaz previously was CTO of Charter. He is former executive vice president of Motorola Mobility where he served as CEO of Motorola Home, Nest said in a statement.
Fadell will still advise Alphabet Inc. and Larry Page, the Google co-founder and chief executive officer of the holding company.
“This transition has been in progress since late last year and while I won’t be present day to day at Nest, I’ll remain involved in my new capacity as an advisor to Alphabet and Larry Page,” Fadell said.
“This will give me the time and flexibility to pursue new opportunities to create and disrupt other industries.”
Fadell is former worker of Apple Inc. , where he played an instrumental role in bringing the iPod to market. Due to his leading role in the iPod, media had called him the “father of the iPod,” Apple Insider reported.
“While there is never a perfect time to transition, we’ve grown Nest to much more than a thermostat company. We’ve created a hardware + software + services ecosystem, which is still in the early growth stage and will continue to evolve to move further into the mainstream over the coming years. The future of Nest is equally as bright given the strong and experienced leadership team in place, as well as the two-year product roadmap we’ve developed together to ensure the right future direction,” Fadell said.
Fadell’s announcement was surprising because he gave no public indication about his exit from Nest.
According to a spokesperson for Next, Fadell would be working more with some of the startups that he funds, including Phononic, Actev, Mousera, and Impossible Foods, according to a report by The Verge.
Mr. Page said: “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 wrote.
“He’s a true visionary and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as advisor to Alphabet.”
Greg Duffy, founder of Dropcam which was acquired by Nest, wrote on Medium that he made a mistake selling the camera startup to Nest in 2014.
“There is a lot that I could say about my extreme differences on management style with the current leadership at Nest, who seem to be fetishizing only the most superfluous and negative traits of their mentors,” Duffy wrote on Medium. “For the sake of the customers and for the talented employees that remain there, I hope they find a way through these struggles.”