back to article Farewell, Fadell: Nest CEO Tony quits IoT biz

The CEO of Nest, Tony Fadell, has quit. Announcing his decision in a blog post Friday, the head and cofounder of the smart home company now owned by Google parent Alphabet and most famous for its thermostat, said his decision was "bittersweet" but that now was the right time to leave. "While there is never a perfect time to …

  1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    But... the billions and billions of customers

    Nest made people realize that thermostats don't have to be complex. Anyone can replace the cryptic commercial programmable unit in your home with a thermostat that's one tap away from doing what you want. That begs the question of why anyone needs a device as complicated as a Nest. $20 buys a digital thermostat with up/down/heat/cool/fan/off buttons and a simple setup menu. Better still, the $20 thermostat isn't chatting about your activities over the Internet or bricking itself on software upgrades.

    1. Mage

      Re: But... the billions and billions of customers

      The better alternatives existed YEARS before Nest was even thought of.

      There are plenty of easy to use controllers, easier to use thermostats, all more compatible than Nest.

      Nest is shiny / gadgety hype, Also insecure and creepy. Overpriced

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Two points...

    1) The thing is, why make things more complex than the need to be? Apparently the Nest isn't quite the big deal they made it out to be since sales haven't skyrocketed. Possibly a whole lot more of the great <for some value of "great> IoT stuff will follow this and die off.

    2) As for the furor over Resolv... that's just part of the history of Google and when I think about it, MS also. Buy a company and dump products and people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two points...

      The only thing Nest has going for it is it looks nicer on the wall than a typical thermostat. That's not worth $299, it just shows that companies like Honeywell ought to hire a couple people with a design background instead of letting engineers do their design...that never ends well.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google is many things (many of them not good) but it does maintain an open culture, and the fact that Nest carried out an internal investigation followed by a firing over some images that gently mocked widely recognized failings may have been the final straw.

    I suspect it's not the mocking, gentle or not, that was the issue. It's airing it in public. Those businesses might have a vigorous debate internally, but showing any of that debate to the world is considering leaking confidential info.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Ah yes, the fact the CEO is a complete knob-head is a business fact that must be kept secret at all times, more so than the next quarter's financials...

    2. Fatman

      Mocking or pointed criticism?

      <quote>Those businesses might have a vigorous debate internally, but showing any of that debate to the world is considering leaking confidential info considered "airing the dirty laundry".</quote>


      Most organizations do not like their internal politics aired in public, and get very defensive when it happens. One must wonder if this employee was a 'sacrificial lamb' brought out to finally draw the wolf (the """incompetent""" C suite executive) from its lair.

      Perhaps, in this case, the door was slammed violently shut as the CEO exited. (i.e. Higher ups pointing toward the door, and making sure it closed behind him.)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't be all bad

    He has a significant watch collection

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    old and cynical?

    In the early days of my IT career, i remember spending some ridiculous amount of money (like £200) for a cable that would connect my sony phone to my laptop, giving me dial up internet on the move.

    It was one of those early adopter things, getting mobile internet was possible but more technical and more costly. But it was cool and exciting, worth the investment, even if tech moved forward a year later.

    Move forward to now and when i hear of "home automation" or "smart watch", i think how they could be something to be excited about but the reality will not be robots bring me a beer or my watch telling me i left my phone in the office drawer. Add to that, now you'll need to sign in to get heating using your g+ account. sigh.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Culture clash?

    But the real clash came when Nest inexplicable decided to end support for a smart home control product it has bought, Revolv. That decision effectively bricked the hardware leaving customers fuming and causing a culture clash with its stablemate Google.

    ... who have never been known to drop products/services/APIs or leave Android hardware to rot without updates...

  7. pinaz

    "connected home sections didn't exist at retail"

    I don't agree with Fadell's history re-write that "connected home sections didn't exist at retail" prior to Nest. Home automation products like X-10 (including phone bridges as the period-equivalent of "connected") were sold from the 1980s at Radio Shack in the USA/Canada (and I presume Tandy in the UK).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Don't know why it's fashionable to hate this guy. Did he upset the media?

    I have a nest thermostat and it's superb, it's none of the things mentioned here, has always worked perfectly, visibly reduced my heating bills by about a tenner a month, is easy to programme, easy to use, and intelligently heats my home, rather than a dumb schedule.

    They also don't prioritise apple over android, that's another lie. The android phone app is more advanced and is updated on the same timescales are the iOS version.


    NEST of Snakes

    What a POS invasion of our liberty and privacy.

    You want google to monitor your thermostat settings? Read the US Declaration of Independence.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    You can't pursue happiness without Life, of course, but you can't do it without Liberty as well.

    Perhaps more understanding of this problem is developing. I sure hope so.

    Anybody who would stand for or allow information-bearing electromagnetic radiation to emerge from their real or personal property without their ability to monitor it, and TURN IT OFF fails to meet minimum requirement as a responsible human being , a participant in a free society with whom we can interact and respect.

    "By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they are in our pockets."

    Edward Snowden

  10. David Lawrence

    I'm sure he'll find another job.......

    .....inventing shiny, expensive and ultimately useless gadgets to suckers with more money than sense. I heard he's going to make a solid gold underwater bicycle next..... or maybe that was just an unfounded rumour.

    Why there are rich pickings out there for anyone that can find the key - a web-enabled egg whisk, single shoes for one-legged people, a hat that doubles as a wifi hotspot, trousers with a built-in keyboard, a 'connected' iron that can send tweets telling everyone what you are ironing, and a drone that can fire a deadly laser beam to annihilate your enemies.

    There - that's enough to keep him in the manner to which he has become accustomed for the next ten years at least.

  11. More Jam

    move fast and break things

    Time to find something new to disrupt.

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