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New Nest Boss is Big Company Cable Guy

In hiring Marwan Fawaz to run Nest, Google is bringing in a leader who has the polar opposite DNA of Tony Fadell.

While Mr. Fadell is a startup consumer product guru, Mr. Fawaz is a big company, B2B executive who is a veteran of the cable TV industry.

While Mr. Fadell is a product showman who likes the spotlight, Mr. Fawaz is a low-profile executive who has spent time behind the scenes mapping out strategy or quietly cleaning up troubled companies. He has spent much of his career as a technologist working for cable operators, including Charter Communications and Adelphia Communications.

And while Mr. Fadell is known for his volatile temperament, Mr. Fawaz is known for a calm and thoughtful approach to management—“unfazed when chaos erupts” is how one person who has worked with him at at least two companies put it.

This person said Mr. Fawaz prefers to gather as many facts as possible about a situation, but isn't afraid to make tough choices in the face of limited information, “an unsual combination of deeply analytical, yet decisive,” this person said.

Most recently he was consulting at Sarepta Advisors, a technology consulting firm he co-founded.

On Friday, after The Information first reported that Mr. Fadell was stepping aside amid management troubles, several Googlers expressed surprise that Nest wasn’t going to be run by Rick Osterloh. Mr. Osterloh is a former Motorola executive who was recently put in charge of Google’s hardware projects, from Chromecast to Google Home.

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