Fulfilling a rumor that surfaced about three months ago, Nest will indeed “join forces” with Google’s hardware team, Google confirmed today.
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The move to combine those teams comes about four years after Google acquired Nest, a maker of thermostats, cameras and other smart home equipment and software, in 2014 for $3.2 billion. Nest has been operating independently as part of the Other Bets unit of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, that also includes Google Fiber.
Update: The companies confirmed that Marwan Fawaz, the former cable industry vet, will remain CEO of Nest and will now report to Rick Osterloh, the head of Google hardware. In addition to leading Nest, Fawaz will also play a big role in the integration with Google's hardware team. TechCrunch reported earlier that Google doesn’t “anticipate any significant role reduction," while a Nest official told the site that the Nest brand will continue under the new structure.
In a blog post about the move, Osterloh touted Nest’s momentum, noting that it doubled its hardware portfolio last year and sold more devices in 2017 than the previous two years combined.
“To build on this momentum, we're excited to bring the Nest and Google Hardware teams together,” he wrote. “The goal is to supercharge Nest’s mission: to create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it.”
He said the combo will enable Google to continue to focus on combining hardware, software and services, with Google’s artificial intelligence and the company’s Assistant “at the core.”
“We’ve had a head start on collaborating since our teams already work closely together, and today we’re excited to make Nest an integral part of Google’s big bet on hardware,” Osterloh said.
That big bet also includes Google’s recent acquisition of a part of HTC that includes the team that worked with Google on its Android-powered Pixel smartphones.
The latest move also comes about four months Google introduced several new consumer products, including the Pixel 2, and updated model of the Daydream View mobile VR headset, and expansion to its Google Home ecosystem.