Tony Fadell, "father of the iPod," steps down from CEO post at Google's Nest

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2016
Tony Fadell, the founder and chief executive of Nest--the hardware firm acquired by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion--has announced that "the time is right to 'leave the Nest.'"


Tony Fadell and his Nest thermostat


In a blog posting, Fadell wrote that the "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."

He added that "Marwan Fawaz is joining Nest as the company's new CEO." Fawaz was formerly an executive at Motorola Mobility, which Google also acquired, failed to turn around, and eventually sold off to Lenovo.

Fadell had earlier worked at Apple, where he played an instrumental role in bringing the iPod to market, a role that had the media calling him the "father of the iPod." He and former Apple engineer Matt Rogers went on to cofound Nest Labs, best known for the company's smart home thermostat. Nest and Apple had a close partnership that fell apart in 2014, when Google acquired the company for $3.2 billion.

Last year, a reorganization within Google placed Fadell in charge of the company's wearable Glass project. Fadell also remained in charge of Nest, which is now technically separate from Google under the firm's new umbrella company known as Alphabet.

A troubled tenure



Shortly after Google acquired his company, it was forced to suspend sales of its Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarm over safety concerns.

Earlier this year, a buggy software update for Nest thermostats caused many users to wake up in the cold, as the devices quickly drained their batteries and shut down, taking user's heating and cooling systems offline.

In February, Fadell was profiled in a scathing report that cited former employee who claimed "Nest's every step is administered to death" by its CEO, creating an environment where it's "always crunch time," as last-minute design changes result in unrealistically tight deadlines that force employees to work late nights and weekends.

Another former employee remarked, "I worked there. It was literally the worst experience of my career - and I have worked at all of the hardest charging blue chips and two successful startups - so it is not about high expectations - but abuse," one commenter wrote. "I still wake up with something like PTSD occasionally from getting yelled at and bullied by Tony Fadell almost literally every day while I was there."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,074member
    He's no Steve Jobs.
    calipotatoleeksoupmessagepad2100mdriftmeyermoreckcornchipjony0lolliverargonaut
  • Reply 2 of 49
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    "Steps down", this is stepping down as much as Forstall stepped down. 
    bdkennedy1002calilordjohnwhorfinmoreck1983cornchiplolliverargonaut
  • Reply 3 of 49
    lord amhranlord amhran Posts: 902member
    He's no Steve Jobs.
    Nobody ever could be
    wonkothesanecalimoreckcornchiplolliver
  • Reply 4 of 49
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,953member
  • Reply 5 of 49
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,623member
    Another dumb ass move buying Nest Google...
    eightzero said:

    calilordjohnwhorfinmoreck1983jbdragoncornchip
  • Reply 6 of 49
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,744member
    No shock here. Plenty of rumors that things weren't going well at Nest. And once Google hired a VP overseeing hardware and announced an Amazon Echo competitor it was pretty obvious that Fadell wouldn't be there much longer. I hope we don't start seeing articles pushing for him to go back to Apple. Seems like he picked up all the bad traits of Steve Jobs and none of the good ones.
    calilordjohnwhorfinSpamSandwichP-DogNCmorecklolliverargonaut
  • Reply 7 of 49
    rptrpt Posts: 173member
    3.2 B !! For what? Clear evidence this business was close to loosing the perspectives again!!!
    calimacky the mackymessagepad2100moreck1983
  • Reply 8 of 49
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,984member
    Remember when Faddell swore up and down how the Google acquisition would change nothing, they would keep full autonomy, and he would be running nest for a "long, long time?"

    You also remember how Apple was shat on for missing this "no-brainer" acquisition?

    Yeah. 

    http://bgr.com/2016/03/31/google-nest-acquisition-failure-disappointment/
    calipotatoleeksouplordjohnwhorfinmacky the mackyP-DogNCfastasleepmessagepad2100moreckmontrosemacspatchythepirate
  • Reply 9 of 49
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,395member
    So was this because Fadell's unhappy with what Google is doing with Nest, or because Google isn't happy with Fadells performance?
    moreck1983cornchiplolliver
  • Reply 10 of 49
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    slurpy said:
    Remember when Faddell swore up and down how the Google acquisition would change nothing, they would keep full autonomy, and he would be running nest for a "long, long time?"

    You also remember how Apple was shat on for missing this "no-brainer" acquisition?

    Yeah. 

    http://bgr.com/2016/03/31/google-nest-acquisition-failure-disappointment/
    Apple was shat on for Beats for less and they've already made their money back.
    lkrupplordjohnwhorfinmacky the mackyP-DogNCmessagepad2100moreckcornchipnolamacguylolliverbadmonk
  • Reply 11 of 49
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,904member
    slurpy said:
    Remember when Faddell swore up and down how the Google acquisition would change nothing, they would keep full autonomy, and he would be running nest for a "long, long time?"

    You also remember how Apple was shat on for missing this "no-brainer" acquisition?

    Yeah. 

    http://bgr.com/2016/03/31/google-nest-acquisition-failure-disappointment/

    And you will never, EVER, hear any analyst say this was a bust for Google. Google literally can do no wrong while Apple can do no right, even for its so-called supporters here on AI who constantly bitch and whine about what Apple does or doesn’t do. 
    lordjohnwhorfinmacky the mackymessagepad2100caccamuccamoreckawilliams87suddenly newtonjbdragonpatchythepiratecornchip
  • Reply 12 of 49
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,904member

    cali said:
    slurpy said:
    Remember when Faddell swore up and down how the Google acquisition would change nothing, they would keep full autonomy, and he would be running nest for a "long, long time?"

    You also remember how Apple was shat on for missing this "no-brainer" acquisition?

    Yeah. 

    http://bgr.com/2016/03/31/google-nest-acquisition-failure-disappointment/
    Apple was shat on for Beats for less and they've already made their money back.
    Yep. This whole tech analysis thing is a one-way street with Apple going the wrong way every time. The analyst blogs were apoplectic when Apple bought Beats but when Google bought Nest it was all unicorns and rainbows and Apple was dead again.
    messagepad2100moreckawilliams87cornchiplolliverargonaut
  • Reply 13 of 49
    ImbackImback Posts: 2member
     Fawaz was formerly an executive at Motorola Mobility, which Google also acquired, failed to turn around, and eventually sold off to Lenovo.
    Google got everything it wanted out of Motorola Mobility. It was never their intention to turn it around.

    -ib
  • Reply 14 of 49
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,472member
    No shock here. Plenty of rumors that things weren't going well at Nest. And once Google hired a VP overseeing hardware and announced an Amazon Echo competitor it was pretty obvious that Fadell wouldn't be there much longer. I hope we don't start seeing articles pushing for him to go back to Apple. Seems like he picked up all the bad traits of Steve Jobs and none of the good ones.
    Agreed. Not a good match at all and a pretty rough start for Google's push into hardware. Hope they're learning from mistakes because even with close to $75B in the bank there's limits to how much dumb stuff they can absorb. 
    edited June 2016 moreckcornchip
  • Reply 15 of 49
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,321member
    What a pity.
    moreck
  • Reply 16 of 49
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,472member
    Imback said:
     Fawaz was formerly an executive at Motorola Mobility, which Google also acquired, failed to turn around, and eventually sold off to Lenovo.
    Google got everything it wanted out of Motorola Mobility. It was never their intention to turn it around.

    -ib
    Well kinda. They only owned it for 30 months so hardly time to see who had what office much less "turn it around" but I personally think Google had thoughts of them becoming more than they were. But yes reports at the time indicated the IP was was led to the buy to begin with and they kept that. 
  • Reply 17 of 49
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,984member
    cali said:
    slurpy said:
    Remember when Faddell swore up and down how the Google acquisition would change nothing, they would keep full autonomy, and he would be running nest for a "long, long time?"

    You also remember how Apple was shat on for missing this "no-brainer" acquisition?

    Yeah. 

    http://bgr.com/2016/03/31/google-nest-acquisition-failure-disappointment/
    Apple was shat on for Beats for less and they've already made their money back.
    Beats was actually an extremely successful company, with a ton of mind-share, and making a ton of revenue, and had a high degree of domination in their industry when Apple bought them. Night and day between Nest. And still, Apple was shat on, including a dozen trolls on this forum that keps mocking the deal for months and months. It's already paid for itself.
    edited June 2016 ericthehalfbeemoreckpatchythepiratecornchiplolliver
  • Reply 18 of 49
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,155member
    Tony should take some of that money and get that awful wart removed. Looks like an old crone.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    So was this because Fadell's unhappy with what Google is doing with Nest, or because Google isn't happy with Fadells performance?
    Both, I suspect.

    I mean, I'm sure he was told to clean out his office, but something tells me Tony's not that miffed about this. 
    moreckcornchip
  • Reply 20 of 49
    stanthemanstantheman Posts: 269member
    I didn't read Tony's blog announcing that he is leaving Google, because I have read plenty of these tales over the years -- including a couple of knee-slappers from my own ex-bosses. Here's a guess: Mr. Fadell is leaving his job at Google so he can spend more time with his family. He has been planning this move for several months. His exit comes while he is still at the top of his game. He has already started working on another exciting project, which he will announce at a later date. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Google. He will continue sharing his experience and insights with the company in the months ahead.
    fastasleepgatorguymorecksuddenly newtoncornchipurahara
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