Since the wi-fi camera company Dropcam sold to Google’s Nest for $US555 million in June, its employees have been struggling with the transition, particularly because of the leadership of Nest CEO and former Apple employee Tony Fadell, according to Connie Loizos of StrictlyVC.
Some of that frustration gets vented through Glassdoor, the career reviews site, where Fadell has a 46% approval rate from current and former employees.
“They are killing everything that was special about working at Dropcam,” one reviewer says of the Nest team, while another writes that the company “is about to die a slow painful death at the hands of Nest.”
One of the biggest complaints about the acquisition seems to be that Fadell has instated a much more hierarchical culture than the “Dropfam” is used to.
Employees told Loizos that almost every decision has to go through either Fadell or Nest cofounder Matt Rogers, which leads to a bureaucratic mess of meetings all day.
“Anyone at the director level or up spends their entire day in meetings, many of them duplicative meetings about the same subject, over and over to the point where a lot of people have complained,” one employee says.
Other employees reportedly feel like Dropcam never should have sold to Nest in the first place. Dropcam investor Mark Siegel agrees, telling Loizos that the company, which is reportedly growing its revenue eight times as fast as Nest, was on a “terrific ramp,” and could have been built into a successful independent company.
“It just felt like we’d been chopped off at the knees,” one employee told Loizos.
“Projects are cancelled, team is splintered, and the mojo is gone,” another wrote on Glassdoor about life post-acquisition.
“Everything revolves around the CEO,” a Nest employee writes. “It’s a dangerous mix of cult of personality and Stockholm syndrome. Comments like ‘He’s the next Steve Jobs’ are not uncommon, while people proudly say things like ‘I’m used to Tony screaming at me.’ Everyone dreads meetings with Tony because he will flip if he doesn’t like what he sees. Somehow that’s perceived as good leadership.”
Before founding Nest, Fadell was a senior manager at the notoriously hierarchical Apple.
Read the rest of Loizos’ piece here.
Business Insider reached out to Nest for comment.