Jan 24, 2017

Hot in Silicon Valley: Nest's big hire

Nest, the maker of connected home devices, has hired back Yoky Matsuoka, who previously the company's VP of technology from 2010 to 2015, as Bloomberg reported and Matsuoka confirmed on LinkedIn.

She's an accomplished robotics expert and helped found GoogleX, the Alphabet's experimental division. Matsuoka recently left Apple, where she worked on health-related projects, after only six months.

Why now? Her arrival at Nest is some sorely-needed good news for the company.

  • Nest made headlines in early 2014 when it sold to Google's parent company for $3.2 billion, but it's had some rough times since then.
  • Last year, co-founder and CEO Tony Fadell (also known as the "father of the iPod") left the company after scathing reports exposed staff frustrations with his management style.
  • Nest's development and release of new products has also reportedly frustrated its parent company, which has since taken to building its own home connected devices.

Go deeper

Palantir CEO reflects on work with ICE

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."

Michigan governor won't apologize for coronavirus lockdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state's coronavirus lockdown in an interview with "Axios on HBO," saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state's cases were rising.

The big picture: Whitmer, who has been a frequent target of President Trump, insisted that she had to act in the face of a lack of federal leadership — and that thousands more people in her state would have died without the lockdown.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has only one novel coronavirus patient in hospital and just 22 active cases in the country, top health official Ashley Bloomfield confirmed at a briefing. He's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission," with no new cases reported for most of May, he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.