Apple has reportedly picked up Yoky Matsuoka, Nest's former Head of Technology and a Co-Founder of Google's X division, to work under Apple's Jeff Williams, Apple's Chief Operating Officer. Williams commands Apple's work in health which includes its HealthKit, CareKit, and ResearchKit tools. Matsuoka will be joining on to work on health projects with the company although no specifics were detailed on what exactly those projects would be. Working on projects in the health technology field seems like somewhat of a departure for Matsuoka when compared to most of the previous efforts in her career, which not only includes Google X ( a division responsible for Google's self-driving cars) and Nest, but also, plenty of work in the robotics field having helped develop the BarrettHand robotics arm and having taught robotics as a professor at both Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Washington.
Back in 2007, however, Matsuoka was awarded the MacArthur Foundation genius grant for using neurorobotics technology to help stroke victims and those with disabilities regain the use of their arms, so work in healthcare technology is something she already has a little bit of experience in. Matsuoka was reported to have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness last year in May that led her to not take a full-time position at Twitter, and after receiving successful treatment she had stated that she took some time to think about what she wanted to do with the second chance on life that she had been given but that she "couldn't imagine" not working in the technology field.
Although not stated, it's possible that Matsuoka's experiences over the past 12 months have had some part in her taking a position at Apple to work on health technology projects. In this new role, she will continue to work in the technology field while also working on projects that assist in bettering people's health from various aspects. Matsuoka is not the only employee to leave Nest, as more recently, Nest's Hardware Chief and Engineering Manager, Shige Honjo, reportedly left the company back at the beginning of April. While losing their Head of Technology last year and their Hardware Chief this year may point to a troubled road ahead for Nest, it also displays the wildly shifting landscape of the technology industry which seems to have people come and go between companies more often than people think.