Tony Fadell steps down as head of Alphabet’s smart-home firm Nest

Tony Fadell is stepping down as chief executive of Nest, the home-automation firm he founded and sold to Google.

The departure, which was announced Friday in a blog post, comes as Fadell faced increasing criticism at Google, now called Alphabet Inc., because of his abrasive management style.

Nest, which makes digital thermostats, smoke detectors and video cameras, was supposed to be a foundation for Google’s push in to smart-home technology when it bought the company for $3.2 billion in 2014.

Instead, Nest has failed to deliver any new hardware and was widely criticized for shutting down services for its smart-home hubs designed by Revolv, a start-up Nest acquired in 2014.

In April, Fadell defended Nest and its corporate culture at a Google all-hands meeting.


“Of course, we’re not perfect,” he said, according to Recode. “No company is. Nest isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. No one’s perfect. But we know what our problems are. We have been addressing them over the last two years. And, frankly, we have more room to go.”

Fadell, 47, will now serve as an advisor to Alphabet. Nest named Marwan Fawaz, the former chief executive of Motorola Home, as its new chief executive.

Fadell, a former Apple executive credited with launching the iPod, said the decision to step down was his.

“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,” Fadell wrote in a blog post.


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Twitter: @dhpierson