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Nest’s lead industrial designer is leaving to join luxury behemoth LVMH

Rocky Jacob will become chief product officer for luxury luggage line Rimowa.

Nest Cam Outdoor
Nest Cam Outdoor

Nest’s head of industrial design, Rocky Jacob, is leaving the company to join European luxury goods company LVMH, according to sources.

Nest co-founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers hired Jacob as its first industrial designer in 2013, and Jacob built the hardware company’s design team from the ground up. Nest was acquired by Google in 2014.

Before his hire, Nest worked with a design contractor. Jacob was responsible for overseeing design on all of Nest’s products starting with the company’s second-generation smoke alarm and third-generation thermostat.

That includes Nest’s camera line and all new products that have not yet shipped from the company, sources say.

Jacob leaves a company that’s undergone large managerial and cultural changes since being acquired by Google, now Alphabet. Fadell left his role as CEO of Nest a year ago amid staff turmoil. Nest has now become more tightly integrated into Alphabet, and more recently has started incorporating Google software into its devices. Some insiders, however, have chafed over what they see as a big cultural shift that focuses less on design.

Design has been a core focus at Nest since its founding, and has been a core focus of Nest co-founder Fadell going back to his time at Apple where he designed the iPod. Rogers remains at the company as chief product officer.

Jacob has changed his title on his LinkedIn account to “advisor” at Nest, which became its own subsidiary within Alphabet after Google was reorganized into the conglomerate.

He is joining LVMH as chief product officer for the conglomerate’s luxury luggage line, Rimowa, which means he will be in charge of engineering, design and product strategy.

Recode has reached out to Nest and Alphabet for comment.

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