There’s been a mini exodus of sorts among executives at Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Alphabet, which formed last year into a conglomerate of separate companies, is designed to help the company find the next big thing outside of Google’s core advertising and search businesses.
But within a year of Alphabet’s formation, there have been several shakeups and departures at the top of these divisions, especially since this summer.
The challenge for these companies and their leaders is to prove to Alphabet’s CEO Larry Page and CFO Ruth Porat that they can turn into growing businesses.
While Alphabet doesn’t report financials for these “other bets,” the recent departures are our best hint that some divisions have struggled or their leaders aren’t thrilled with the new pressure now that they’re no longer hiding under Google’s umbrella.
Here’s a breakdown of the most important Alphabet executive departures so far this year.
Tony Fadell, Nest
The highest profile departure was Tony Fadell, the former Apple executive and CEO of Nest, Alphabet’s smart home appliance company that makes connected thermostats and cameras. Fadell stepped down as Nest’s CEO in June following reports of inner turmoil in the company and a damning blog post by Greg Duffy, the former head of Nest’s camera business.
Fadell gave a particularly rough interview to The Information before his departure, where he tersely defended his management style. He was out shortly after that.
Fadell is still an advisor at Nest.
Bill Maris, GV
Bill Maris was the head of GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, an Alphabet company that invests in early stage startups. Maris founded GV in 2009 and left in August after some other members of his team left the company.
Craig Barratt, Google Fibre
Craig Barratt was the CEO of Google Fibre, the internet service provider that offered super high-speed broadband in select cities. Barratt stepped down as CEO Wednesday and announced the company had stopped plans to expand its service to more cities. Instead, it will focus on new ways to deliver the internet through wireless technologies.
Barratt is now an Advisor at Google Fibre.
Dave Vos, Project Wing
Dave Vos was the head of project wing, a division of X, Alphabet’s “moonshot” lab that works on a bunch of crazy, futuristic projects. Project Wing experimented with delivery drones and even ran a pilot program to deliver Chipotle burritos to students at Virginia Tech.
Vos stepped down from Project Wing earlier this month.
Chris Urmson, self-driving cars
Chris Urmson, the tech lead for X’s self-driving car project, left the company in August. He was working on the project for seven years.
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