While the Internet of Things has already started to change things on the warehousing and non-consumer-facing side of things, the smart home is still trying to be the same agent of change for the layperson. If that comes to pass, one of its earliest proponents won’t be at his usual helm.
Tony Fadell, founder and former CEO of smart home firm Nest, announced on Friday (June 3) that he would be vacating his position effective immediately. In a blog post, Fadell seemed genial and contrite as he announced that Marwan Fawaz, former executive vice president of Motorola Mobility, would be assuming his position, but in an interview with the The New York Times, Fadell opened up about the management struggles with employees and new parent company Alphabet alike that may have played a role in his decision.
Responding in particular to a critical Medium post penned by Greg Duffy, founder and former CEO of Dropcam, which Nest acquired in 2014, Fadell said that Duffy’s claims of tension throughout the ranks and rampant turnover were instead isolated incidents and average for Silicon Valley tech workers.
Whatever the cause of his departure, Fadell had some words of wisdom for what remains of Nest and where it might be going in the future. Instead of commonsense ideas of IoT companies pumping out the latest and greatest gizmos every few years, Fadell urged a different approach that suits the smart home environment.
“Some people expect us to be a gadget factory,” Fadell told NYT. “But you don’t want your thermostat to be like your smartphone, replacing it every two or three years.”