In the latest round of company shakeups and restructuring, Fortune is reporting that as many as several dozen employees from Alphabet subsidiary Nest will move over to Google (also owned by Alphabet) to continue work on the smart home and possibly unify its Internet of Things platform.
Join us after the break for more.
When Google bought Nest in 2014 for $3.2 billion, there was a lot of excitement about what products and services would be produced with the two companies working together. Nest had popularized the smart home thermostat and with Google’s big financial backing it seemed likely that platform would continue to grow. However, in the time to follow Nest struggled to make a profit and released mostly incremental updates to its products rather than a rush of big new features. Almost one year ago, Alphabet was formed to better separate all of Google’s ventures into more isolated companies. This certainly made Nest’s financial struggles stand out even more and the restructuring we are seeing now could possibly help move everything forward.
It is not exactly known what the now former Nest employees will be doing at Google, however it’s not too difficult to guess. Google has shown a lot of interest recently to move into the home and with the upcoming release of the Google Home smart speaker, which was announced at this year’s I/O, this can only be the beginning. Nest had been putting a lot of work into the Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which develops and enables everyday household items to not only access and talk to the internet, but talk to each other as well. There is a lot of competition in the smart home world with Amazon’s Echo speaker selling very well and Apple continuing to put more resources into its HomeKit platform. This move does seem like a logical next step for Alphabet. Hiroshi Lockheimer, who is the current VP of Android at Google, will reportedly expand his role to also oversee these new smart home services.
One thing that is uncertain, however, is what will be expected of Nest moving forward from here. The company already was struggling to make profits and now that it’s losing a good number of employees over to Google, what will become of it? It is assumed at this time that Nest will continue to operate as normal and develop their products and services, such as its recently announced outdoor security camera. It’s a curious move for sure as Alphabet has been doing a lot of shaking up at its various companies, most recently with drastically cutting it’s Google Fiber budget and employee number (as well as Nest’s own internal shakeups). At the same time, however, since the formation of Alphabet, it has been easier to see each of these divisions as their own entity and to better assess what is working and what isn’t.
We will keep an eye out for any updates and it will certainly be interesting to see what Google may have in store for us next.