Apple's Ex-iPod Chief Explains Why Tim Cook Was Chosen To Succeed Steve Jobs As CEO

Nest-Tony-FadellBusiness InsiderTony Fadell

Before Tony Fadell founded Nest, a company that creates beautiful smart thermostats and, recently, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors too, he was the senior vice president of the iPod division at Apple.

Although Fadell left Apple several years before Tim Cook became CEO, he said on stage at Business Insider’s IGNITION 2013 conference that Cook, an operations guy, was chosen to become CEO despite not having a product design background because he was capable of rethinking many things in an innovative way.

“It wasn’t just because he could run a spreadsheet,” Fadell said. Apple is huge, and Cook had all-rounder experience in operations, sales, and customer support, Fadell said.

The day to day things that could use innovation — the things that annoy people the most — are what Fadell now wants to tackle with Nest.

“I hate the ‘connected home’ term,” Fadell says, describing the lofty image of houses where you control everything from the lights to the window shades with a click of an iPhone button. “That image is just for the geeky guys.”

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