While hearing about an ousted CEO can cause panic for the company’s customers, Nest and Google Home users should actually be looking toward a brighter future with the recent announcement that Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz is stepping down.
This move is part of the latest shuffling of the Nest brand, which has struggled to find a proper home under the Alphabet umbrella. The Google-owned smart home brand operated as its own entity, under Alphabet, for several years before being integrated back into the Google business a few months ago. This move was made so that the smart home products under Nest and the smart home Assistant under Google could have better hardware and software integration options. Since Nest will now sit within the smart home division, we should expect the artificial intelligence of both Nest and Google products to level up. This is a welcome restructuring, as product development is fiercely competitive in the smart home industry and Google already seems to be trailing Amazon (though they are leading against Apple).
Now, those brilliant minds that are developing and advancing Google’s AI will have direct, easy access to Nest’s platform so that integration can be considered before beta tests, instead of after. This move is really no surprise to those that have been paying attention. Google has put more emphasis on hardware in recent years, with the Pixel phone, their Home speaker line, and their streaming stick. Furthermore, in response to competition, Google has started to feature Nest more prominently during their product launch presentations and events. All of these signs pointed to the inevitable shake up that we’re seeing now.
Google has assured the public that Fawaz was not ousted under negative circumstances, prior to some reports that were published. In fact, he will be taking on an executive advisor role for Alphabet, serving the hardware division of the business as well as future investments.
The Nest company started small with just thermostats and smoke detectors, but grew immensely even before being purchased by Google. Today, the product line is vast, and includes these devices that the Google team will now be working more closely with:
- Indoor and outdoor security cameras
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Video doorbells
- Alarm systems
That product line grew slowly, though – and some argue that it grew too slowly. Nest was once the go-to case study for how to be a successful startup but failed to capitalize on its momentum to expand their line. That didn’t stop them from continued success, though, and this new shuffle will only excel their efforts and solidify their future in the smart home infrastructure.
Nest customers shouldn’t be worried about the shake-up; nothing is going to change for them. Nest will keep its brand name and its product line. Hopefully, what they will notice in the near future is better Google integration, more features, and maybe even an expanded smart home product line.