Fadell leaving Nest

Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, is leaving the smart-home product company.

Fadell made the announcement in a blog post Friday; he reportedly informed Nest employees earlier in the day. For the time being, he will remain a part of the Google conglomerate, serving as an advisor to parent company Alphabet.

“Although this news may feel sudden to some, this transition has been in progress since late last year,” Fadell wrote in his post. “I will miss this company and my Nest family … but I am excited about what’s coming next, both for Nest and for me.”

Fadell is an “entrepreneur at heart,” Nest spokeswoman Ha Thai said in an email. He is “looking forward to pursuing opportunities to create new industries and disrupt others — and to support people who want to do the same,” she said.

Marwan Fawaz, who previously ran Motorola’s home products division while it was owned by Google, will replace Fadell as CEO.

In a statement, Alphabet CEO Larry Page praised Fadell’s leadership of Nest. The company’s revenue has grown 50 percent annually since it started shipping its products, Page said.

“He’s a true visionary and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as advisor to Alphabet,” Page said.

Fadell, who made a name for himself by being one of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ top lieutenants and as the father of the company’s iPod, founded Nest in 2010 with fellow Apple alum Matt Rogers. The company’s first product was a smart thermostat, but it has since launched a connected smoke alarm. Two years ago, it acquired Dropcam and started offering a line of connected security cameras.

The management shakeup at Nest follows pointed criticism of Fadell by Dropcam co-founder Greg Duffy this spring. Duffy accused Fadell of running Nest like a “tyrant bureaucrat,” and bemoaned selling the company to him. Duffy also reported that about half of Dropcam’s employees had left Nest, a fact that Fadell minimized by saying that a lot of Dropcam employees “were not as good as we hoped.”

Photo: Nest founder and CEO Tony Fadell talks about his company in their offices in Palo Alto, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.  (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

 

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