Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Nest founder and former Apple VP Tony Fadell (shown second from left in the 2007 photo above after the unveiling of the iPhone) is widely considered to be one of the fathers of the iPod, and a fresh interview sheds new light on his prior relationship with Steve Jobs.
Fortune today published an extensive profile of Tony Fadell, the former Apple executive hailed as "the only disciple of Steve Jobs to achieve outsize post-Apple success," who recently sold thermostat maker Nest to Google for a whopping $3.2 billion.
The article is noteworthy for 45-year-old Fadell's reflections on his seven years at Apple, during which time he oversaw the Mac maker's wildly popular iPod line. But it wasn't always the best of times, with the executive threatening to quit on at least two occasions in order to get his way.
"One time, after key members of his iPod team had been raided for another Apple project, Fadell informed Jobs he was done, and the CEO asked him to stay, telling Fadell he was overreacting," the article explained.
“I said, ‘I’m not overreacting,’" Fadell elaborated. "I told him I was out. If you didn’t stand up for yourself, no one else would.”
By 2008, Fadell made good on his threats, taking a couple of years off prior to raising venture capital funding to start Nest, a maker of home "learning" thermostats and fire alarms now owned by Google.
In hindsight, Fadell says he "would have loved to have been able to show" the original Nest to Apple co-founder and former boss Steve Jobs, who died only weeks after the product was finally ready to share in mid-2011.
"Jobs presumably would have been proud of Fadell," the article concludes, describing their frequently combative relationship as alternating between "the father/son and school principal/naughty student archetypes."
The full profile on Tony Fadell is featured in the June 30 issue of Fortune.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter