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Nest Loses Two Key Managers Amid Internal Troubles

April 1, 2016, 10:53 PM UTC
A Nest thermostat is installed in a home in Provo
Photograph by George Frey — Reuters

Nest’s troubles continue to brew.

Two of its key employees, senior engineering manager Scott Mullins and director of hardware design and engineering Shige Honjo, are departing the company, according to a report from Re/code. Honjo will leave the company at the end of May, while Mullins is moving over to Google (GOOG) to work on the company’s next version of Glass, currently part of a team known internally as Project Aura, which is also head by Nest CEO Tony Fadell.

The news comes amid reports of growing stagnation at Nest, which reportedly hasn’t performed as parent company Alphabet (GOOG) expected. Despite early success with its flagship thermostat and a smoke alarm—though it was recalled and fixed—Nest hasn’t produced any significant new products since joining Google in early 2014. Later that year it acquired connected camera company Dropcam for $555 million, though earlier this week founder and former CEO Greg Duffy publicly criticized Fadell’s negative comments about his team’s performance since joining Nest.

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Google’s own frustration with Nest has also led it to develop hardware projects on its own, like the OnHub Wi-Fi routers, and a reportedly secret Amazon Echo rival.

Mullins, who was previously at Apple (AAPL) and worked on the iPhone’s hardware design, joined Nest in 2012 as its director of hardware engineering.

Honjo also came from Apple, and was Nest’s second employee, following co-founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers in 2010. According to Re/code, former Nest employees describe him as critical troubleshooter and a “firefighter” for the founders. His wife and brother also work at Nest, according to the report.

We’ve reached out to Nest and will update if we hear more.

An earlier version incorrectly stated Shige Honjo’s title and that he and Scott Mullins reported to CEO Tony Fadell as executives. The story has been corrected.