In an announcement that was rather sudden, though perhaps not all that surprising, Tony Fadell on Friday said he will be stepping down as the CEO of Nest.
A legendary Silicon Valley figure, Fadell is not only credited as being the man behind the creation of the iPod but also played an important role in the early development of the iPhone. Following his departure from Apple in 2008, Fadell went on to co-found Nest, where the company received numerous accolades for its thermostat.
In early 2014, Google agreed to purchase Nest for $3.2 billion. At first glance, the acquisition seemed to be a smart strategic move, especially given the push towards smart appliances in the home. But over the past few years, Nest hasn't exactly performed up to expectations. In recent months, we've seen reports of employee discontent along with reports that the higher-ups at Google were expecting more product rollouts from the Nest team.
News of Fadell's departure came via a blogpost from Fadell. The entry reads in part:
"Today though, my news is bittersweet: I have decided that the time is right to 'leave the Nest.'"
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.
Although this news may feel sudden to some, 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. This will give me the 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. We should all be disrupters!
In Fadell's absence, Marwan Fawaz will be joining Nest where he will assume the CEO position. For those unfamiliar, Fawaz had previous stints as the CTO of Charter and the CEO of Motorola Home. As for Fadell, he'll remain involved with Nest, albeit in an advisory role.