Nest has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. In addition to disappointing financial returns and making ill will from the acquisition of Dropcam along the way, The Information has been reporting on multiple cases of just plain bad work culture that would have heads at HR spinning.
Tony Fadell, CEO of the troubled IoT company, decided to make himself available to staff at Google and Alphabet to address these articles that don’t “represent our culture, represent our work ethic, represent the respect we have for each other inside the team.”
Fadell came to Google’s TGIF staff meeting on April 1 which Re/code was able to grab a transcript of.
Of course, we’re not perfect. No company is. Nest isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. No one’s perfect. But we know what our problems are. We have been addressing them over the last two years. And, frankly, we have more room to go.
Respect, Fadell goes on to say, is important to him as he does respect “the Nest employees” as well as Google and Alphabet employees plus “ex-Nesters, ex-Googlers, those kinds of things.” He also goes on to address the business side:
So, our products are live. They’re very healthy. They are over four-plus stars on Amazon today, and they are continuing to improve. Our customers love what we ship.
Another data point is our business. Every single year our annual sales have gone up nicely, nice growth every year since our inception. We have not had any slowdown in our sales growth. It continues. And, in fact, this quarter we actually beat our [estimates]. Well, let’s hope in the next two days we’ll [beat] our numbers. [Applause]
Financial data for Nest is embedded in Alphabet’s earnings reports and the next one comes next week.
Fadell has invited all Google and Alphabet staff to Nest’s internal “Lunch and Learn” sessions over the next month so that he can address questions in “an informal, open, honest format.”
Internal HR problems shouldn’t be part of the reason why Nest dies, but it’s important to remember that people make these products happen.