from the learning-the-hard-way dept.
After buying Nest, keeping it as an independent company, and considering selling it off, Alphabet/Google is now rolling Nest back into itself. Nest makes various home automation products including a "smart thermostat", security systems, and video doorbells:
Some early employees of Alphabet's smart-home company Nest, including co-founder Tony Fadell, are frustrated by how the company's history has played out now that it has been rolled back into Google.
Google bought Nest for $3.2 billion in early 2014, less than two years before it blew up its corporate structure to form the holding company Alphabet. Under Alphabet, Nest became an independent company and was heralded as the model business in the "Other Bets" category, which also includes Alphabet's venture capital arms, its smart city project Sidewalk and other experimental businesses.
But looking back, these early former employees say that the split ended up being a setback for both companies. "From the outside it looked like Nest was the perfect poster child for Alphabet but, at the same time, separating it was undoing the thing that was most essential for both companies — figuring out how to make them work together," former Nest CEO Tony Fadell tells CNBC via email.
Nest co-founder Matt Rogers announced that he will be leaving the company:
A day after Alphabet announced plans to roll Nest into its hardware team, co-founder Matt Rogers has announced that he's exiting the company. The story was first noted by CNET and quickly confirmed by Rogers on Twitter.
Could just be social media talk, but Rogers' brief statement on the matter appeared to imply that there were no hard feelings. "Nest has been an amazing journey and the honor of my career to build," he wrote. "I could not be more proud of what we have all accomplished and can't wait to see what's next for Nest."
Also at The Verge.
Amazon will stop selling Nest products once its current stock of them runs out:
The impending disappearance of Nest from Amazon marks just the latest development in the acrimonious, anti-consumer feud between Amazon and Google. Nest was absorbed back into Google last month after spending three years as a standalone Alphabet subsidiary. (Google tipped off Nest that Amazon had decided against selling its latest hardware while the companies were still separate.) Amazon has steadfastly refused to sell some Google-branded products like the Google Home voice assistant speaker and the company's Pixel smartphones. In December, the online retailer said it would restart sales of the Chromecast streaming device, but it's been three months and you still can't buy it. Last summer, Amazon launched a Prime Video app for Android, but has yet to add support for streaming its content with a Chromecast.
For its part in this ugly falling out, Google has removed YouTube from Amazon's Fire TV streaming products and the Echo Show / Spot, claiming that Amazon has violated its terms of service with those implementations of the YouTube app. There were once signs that the companies were mending the scorched bridge between them, but that doesn't seem to be the case any longer.
Amazon Declares War on YouTube by Launching Amazon Video Direct
Google Pulls YouTube off of the Amazon Echo Show
Google's "Manhattan" to Compete With Amazon's Echo Show
Amazon Wants to Deliver Purchases into Your Home
Google Pulls YouTube Off of More Amazon Devices
Google Absorbs Nest, Nest Co-Founder Quits
Amazon Acquires Ring, Maker of Internet-Connected Doorbells and Cameras, for Over $1 Billion
Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz is stepping down as the smart home gadget maker is reshuffled yet again, now operating under the Google division responsible for the company's Home smart speakers, according to a report from CNET. Just five months ago, Fawaz oversaw Nest's reintegration under Google; for the last three years, Nest operated as an independent entity under Google parent company Alphabet.
The decision to bring Nest back under the Google umbrella was designed to help hardware chief Rick Osterloh better integrate Nest products with Google's own hardware and software, much of it increasingly driven by artificial intelligence advances. Now, Fawaz is taking on an advisory role, and Nest will be overseen by Rishi Chandra, the vice president of product management for Google's home and living room products. CNET reports that many inside the company felt that Fawaz was not an adequate leader of Nest and more of an operations manager, and the change is reportedly a welcome one.
[...] CNET reports that Alphabet even considered selling Nest in 2016 to none other than Amazon, with talks described as "serious discussions" in an effort known internally as Project Amalfi. Though Fadell reportedly scuttled the deal by threatening to leave, which he would go on to do later that year regardless, it seems like Alphabet leadership has struggled to help Nest grow and find its place within its complex corporate structure.