Sidewalk Labs will be folded into Google as CEO steps down for health reasons

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Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff is stepping down for health reasons, and the six-year-old company and its products will be folded into Google, he wrote in a blog post Thursday. Doctoroff says he’s been diagnosed with what may be ALS and wants to spend more time with his family.

“Starting next year, Sidewalk products Pebble, Mesa, Delve, and Affordable Electrification will join Google, becoming core to Google’s urban sustainability product efforts,” Doctoroff wrote in the post. “These products will continue to be led by Sidewalk Labs President of Urban Products Prem Ramaswami and Chief Technology Officer Craig Nevill-Manning, both Google alumni, and the teams will continue to execute on their vision and serve customers.”

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Google parent company Alphabet will spin out Sidewalk’s Canopy Buildings as an independent company, Doctoroff added.

According to Sidewalk Labs’ website, Pebble is a parking and curb management sensor; Delve is an AI-based real estate development program; Mesa provides kits for commercial businesses to save energy; and Affordable Electrification is a home energy management program. Canopy Buildings designs and manufactures “mass timber” buildings for commercial development.

Sidewalk Labs is perhaps best known for its scuttled plans to build a smart neighborhood in Toronto, called Quayside. The billion-dollar project would have built a high-tech community build with sustainable methods and materials, but was unpopular with local residents. The project was shut down in 2020; Doctoroff said at the time that the economic uncertainty of the pandemic made Quayside financially unfeasible.

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“I leave Sidewalk having complete confidence that our impact will increase exponentially,” Doctoroff wrote Thursday. “While I will dearly miss working with the incomparable Sidewalk Labs team, I couldn’t be more excited to see Google accelerate the development of our products and technology to achieve their sustainability mission — not a moment too soon for the world.”

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