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Nest will merge into Google’s home and living room team as CEO steps down


Marwan Fawaz is no longer at the helm as the CEO of Nest, the Google-owned smart appliance maker, CNET reports. Consequently, Nest will join Google’s home and living room products team, which Google says will streamline the integration of its machine learning technology and artificial intelligence capabilities into Nest products moving forward.

The latest shakeup at the smart thermostat company comes six months after Nest’s merger with its parent company’s hardware division. Nest has already experienced quite a bit of change within its leadership team. The company’s co-founder, Matt Rogers, left recently as well, and now, Nest sits under Rishi Chandra, vice president of product management for Google’s home and living room products team. Chandra, a 12-year Google veteran, said in a joint interview with Fawaz, that the decision is a “natural evolution.” Said Chandra, “We thought, let’s connect these things and build experiences that we really couldn’t do before.”

Fawaz isn’t leaving the Google family altogether, however. He will remain with both Google and its parent company Alphabet, where he will serve as an executive adviser. Moreover, Nest will not be facing any layoffs and, in fact, Google is apparently hoping to grow the team.

Leadership isn’t the only thing that’s been changing at Nest in recent months and years. In 2014, Google initially purchased Nest for $3.2 billion. But after Google reorganized itself and placed Alphabet at the top of the food chain, Nest began operating as a semi-autonomous subsidiary of Alphabet (like Waymo). But then, in February, Nest rejoined Google, and it seems it will remain part of the Google family for the foreseeable future.

Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh called the personnel adjustment “right for our users and the business.”

“Marwan led the integration planning efforts and was responsible for determining our organizational strategy, in consultation with me, Rishi and our employees,” Osterloh said in a statement. “We decided together to make these changes so we can better serve our users.”

Nest employees seem to be quite happy about the adjustment. As one longtime Nest employee told CNET, “I’m happy to leave Nest in Rishi’s hands.”

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