After failing to meet sales goals following their acquisition by Google, Nest began to have a bit of a rough time. In the midst of a large number of employees leaving, being let go or being reshuffled, it was revealed that Nest’s shortfalls had begun to cause a somewhat unfriendly culture shift within the company, putting more stress than ever on leaders. As Google begins to take a more realistic and businesslike approach to some of their non-core operations, it’s not terribly hard to see why Nest has been, in essence, scrambling to get their act together. While their $340 million sales figure for 2015 doesn’t exactly depict a company on the verge of failure, the numbers are far from what Google expected when they bought them up. With Nest founder Tony Fadell busy with Google projects, such as Aura, the highest-up in Nest were forced to rely on him less. It is in this climate that news has broken about the planned departure of two of the company’s key employees, hardware design and engineering director Shige Honjo and senior engineering manager Scott Mullins.
Honjo, who had made his way over from Apple back in 2010 as Nest’s second employee, quickly proved himself incredibly capable and climbed the corporate ladder while earning his reputation as one of Fadell’s “firemen”, those who could extinguish problems and troubleshoot quickly and effectively. Back in 2013, he found his way into Nest’s team of top executives. He’s reportedly heading over to work on Glass now.
When Scott Mullins hit the scene at Nest in 2012, they were just beginning to come into their own and catch the eyes of tech giants. Rather than starting somewhat from the bottom as Honjo did, Mullins was brought on as a director of hardware engineering. Coincidentally, he, too, had made his way over from Apple. It’s not a stretch to think that, for a time, Honjo may have actually worked under Mullins before Honjo achieved his executive rank in 2013. At the moment, Nest hasn’t commented with any details regarding the reasons for the departure.