Lately, there has been a good bit of controversy in the press about Nest, and a good bit of it has come from current and former employees venting on sites like Medium and Reddit. We’ve heard things like employees crying in the bathroom, and Tony Fadell scraping projects late into the development stage and much more. It has just sounded like a huge mess over there at Nest. We also heard that when Google purchased Nest, they agreed to a contract which gave Tony Fadell two years to run Nest with basically an unlimited budget. And that contract runs out at the end of this year. With Nest not performing all that great – and have yet to release an actual product since Google purchased them – his future at Google is up in the air. So, Fadell headed to Google’s weekly staff meeting, also called the “all hands” meeting, to defend his company.
The meeting in question, was the April 1st meeting. Fadell arrived and stated that he was “incredibly disheartened” by all of the recent articles hitting the internet about Nest. He also reassured Googlers that Nest’s culture was improving. He did admit that Nest is “not perfect” and went on to say that no company and no one is perfect. Fadell also told everyone that they know what their problems are, and have been working to address them over the past two years. Of course, Fadell also denied reports that innovation at his company has stalled. He stated that sales have improved every year. In fact, Fadell stated that Nest is on pace to beat their sales target for Q1. We will find out a bit more on that next week when Alphabet reports their earnings for the first quarter.
Fadell continued his part of the meeting by talking about respect, which has been another big topic in recent reports. Fadell noted that he does respect Nest employees, and Google employees. Stating that “we try to work very hard together and partner in many different areas around the different companies.” As you know, Alphabet has a ton of different companies under their umbrella, many of which do drastically different things. Fadell went on to say that he respect’s former Nest and Google employees as well. Fadell was pretty hurt, when reading reports about him not respecting his employees. Stating that he gives “respect because I want to get respect.”
It’s clear that Tony Fadell went to Google’s meeting to defend Nest, and it’s something that needed to be done with all of the negative press as of late. Fadell was correct in saying they have launched “four all new products”, but they were just iterations of their already existing products. Not actually new products. With one being a rebrand of Dropcam. It’s clear that there’s a dark cloud hanging over Nest right now, and 2016 may be a pretty rocky year for them.