Nest's lead industrial designer since 2013, Rocky Jacob, has reportedly left the company to lend his talents to LVMH Moët Hennessy, the French chapter of Louis Vuitton's global accessory empire. The well-known fashion firm will receive the former Nest designer as its chief product officer for luxury luggage lineup Rimowa. He will be overseeing and contributing to the design of the lineup, as well as helping to work on engineering and strategic moves like marketing and sales. While he will be departing Nest to work primarily on the Rimowa line, Jacob's LinkedIn page pegs him as still being linked to Nest as an advisor, though details on that are scant.
Jacob's time at Nest began fairly early in the company's life. He came on board in 2013 and has worked on every major design for the company since his work for it debuted in the second and third generation of Nest's smoke alarm and iconic thermostat, respectively. In both cases, Jacob made subtle changes to the preceding designs that made the products a bit more ergonomic to use and a bit more visually appealing without sacrificing their distinctive Nest style. He worked closely with Nest co-founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. The pair's ideas brought the company to the point it was at back when Jacob was hired, and were continued in spirit by his work. Fadell's tenure at Apple, among other factors, led to the company leaning on a strong focus on design in order to differentiate itself in the early days of the Internet of Things.
Internal strife reared its ugly head last year when the company's performance was called into question by new CFO Ruth Porat, along with moonshots and other acquisitions, and Alphabet began to bring the proverbial hammer down on its embattled purchase. Then-CEO Tony Fadell made his exit, leaving Marwan Fawaz to carry on leading the company and Jacob to continue leading design efforts. While Jacob's role has been reduced to an advisor, there are a number of yet-unreleased Nest products that bear his design ideas, and the tropes that made his design language a good spiritual successor to Nest's original product lineup are quite likely to continue being respected as the company continues to chug on.