Marwan Fawaz, the current CEO of Nest, will step down and the Nest team will become part of Google’s home and living room products team, according to media sources.
Rishi Chandra, vice president of product management at Google’s home and living room products, will lead the combined team. Fawaz will remain in Google as an executive adviser.
Google will keep the Nest brand, and the team won’t see any layoffs, according to a CNET report.
Nest will keep its product development cycle separate from Google’s home products. It’s also looking forward to expanding its team.
Furthermore, Chandra is planning to bring deeper integration between Nest and Google software, to make ventures like having Google Assistant part of the Nest Cam IQ earlier this year.
Founded by former Apple employee Tony Fadell, Nest stepped into the smart home market with its learning thermostat. In 2014, Google bought the company for US$3.2 million and promised to let Nest access Google resources and grow as part of Google.
However, Google restructured to become Alphabet in 2015 and Nest became an individual company operating under Alphabet and aside from Google. Three years after this organizational change, Nest hasn’t brought any big breakthroughs in the smart home market and it was even rumored that Alphabet was considering selling the business.
In 2016, Nest founder Fadell left the company and Fawaz, a former Motorola executive, took over as Nest’s CEO. Nest’s employees reportedly described Fawaz as a business development manager rather than a visionary leader. He focused on releasing new products regularly instead of creating innovative products.
Fawaz changed the culture of Nest and there were reports that 70 Nest employees weren’t happy with the new culture and left the company.
Nest announced it would rejoin Google this February. Since then, Fawaz has reported to Rick Osterloh, the chief executive at Google Hardware.
The structure change this time was “right for our users and the business,” Osterloh told CNET. “We decided together to make these changes so we can better serve our users.”
“One of Nest’s goals (going forward) is making sure the teams and products feel integrated and not siloed,” said Chandra.