Nest is once again going to be a Google-owned company, having spent three years on its own under the Alphabet umbrella. Instead of being an independent company, under this minor restructure Nest will work alongside Google’s hardware team, which is headed by Rick Osterloh.
There’s been a major recovery at Nest over the last year, with the slow product release schedule having been replaced by a steady slew of new products. That’s largely thanks to CEO Marwan Fawaz, who has overseen new launches such as the Nest Secure and the Nest Hello.
When Google announced that it was restructuring the company into Alphabet, it placed Nest under its ‘other bets’ division. Out of all the subsidiaries that were given that distinction, Nest was the only one turning a profit, so it seems only natural that it would return to the jewel in the Alphabet crown.
Fawaz and his team will now report directly to Osterloh, who oversees everything from Pixel to Chromecast to Google Home. This should allow Google to beef up its smart home line-up, with Nest products likely to receive better functionality with the Google Home than ever before.
In an interview with CNET, Osterloh says that the move represented a major part of Google’s smart home strategy. “All of Google’s investments in machine learning and AI, they can very clearly benefit Nest products. It just makes sense to be developing them together,” Osterloh says.
Nest and Google’s separation made things difficult for Alphabet to capitalise on the growing smart home market. Just a few years ago the companies were working on two completely different developer platforms, that just complicated things for third-party manufacturers. Thankfully Google made the decision to combine the software teams of the two companies back in December 2016, which led to Android Things.