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Nest CEO steps down as company becomes part of Google's home division

Nest CEO leaves as the company struggles to find its bearings inside Google.

Published onJuly 18, 2018

  • The Nest CEO has quit amid leadership criticism.
  • The company is now a part of Google’s home and living room products team.
  • Google held serious discussions with Amazon in 2016 about potentially selling Nest.

After being brought into Google’s hardware division back in February, Nest employees were told today that the company’s CEO Marwan Fawaz would be stepping down.

With this change, Google is making Nest a part of its home and living room product team. Rishi Chandra, Vice President of Product Management for Google’s home and living room products, is now in charge of Nest operations.

Talking to CNET, several former Nest employees stated that Fawaz’s exit came amid an internal push against him. These employees wished for a leadership change as they saw Fawaz as more of an “operations manager” and less of a leader that could help the company innovate.

Fawaz took over as CEO after Tony Fadell, Nest’s celebrated founder, left Google in 2016. Instead of finding ways to improve Nest and its products like Fadell did, Fawaz worried more about business development and “focused on efficiencies,” the employees said.

When Nest became a part of the Google hardware division, Fawaz started reporting to Rick Osterloh, Google’s hardware boss.

Nest’s integration into Chandra’s home division has reportedly been celebrated by employees, who believe the new leadership and direction should allow Nest to create new products that integrate better into Google’s ecosystem. 

Nest Cam IQ is a high-end security camera with some serious brain power

Nest has struggled since being purchased by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion, so it should come as no surprise that the company almost got sold off to Amazon. According to CNET, Google and Amazon held “serious discussions” about the potential sale back in 2016. The deal never went through, due in part to Fadell not wanting to be part of the sale.

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