Things aren’t looking good for Nest. We told you last week about fallout happening within Alphabet’s smart home products maker, including the departure of Dropcam’s former CEO Greg Duffy and 50 of his former employees, and now the story continues. According to a report from Re/code, citing multiple sources, Nest has now lost its director of hardware design and engineering Shige Honjo as well Scott Mullins, a senior engineering manager…
Of the two departures, Honjo’s is particularly noteworthy. He was the company’s second employee and departed Apple to help start the company with Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers in 2010. Now, he’s reportedly headed out by the end of next month.
Mark Bergen has it:
Honjo, the director of hardware design and engineering, will depart at the end of May. Mullins is shifting over to Google to work on the next iteration of its Glass wearable, dubbed Project Aura internally. (He’ll continue to work for Nest CEO Tony Fadell, who runs Aura independently of Nest.)
Mullins’ departure is also of note, but he’s staying with Alphabet at Aura — and really, he’s staying with Fadell. Project Aura is the group that has formed in the wake of Google Glass, working on an Enterprise Edition of the device that we’ve told you about before as well as two head-mounted audio-based devices. Project Aura is also one of the four companies I told you I want to hear Google talk more about come Google I/O (however likely that may be).
Thanks to various reports over the last couple of weeks, Nest hasn’t been getting the greatest PR. Besides the internal leaderships strife, the company is also under-performing and its future at Google is looking shaky. The company generated $340 million in sales last year, and while that’s not shabby considering that it’s a company focused mainly on internet-connected thermostats, it’s not as healthy as Google would like.
Update: Honjo’s position at Nest changed since the most recent available information. Nest reached out to say that Honjo is not an executive but rather Nest’s director of hardware design and engineering. Nest says that he only held that title prior to the Google acquisition. This article has been updated accordingly.