Alphabet’s healthcare unit Verily has confirmed 200 job cuts, which 15 percent of the workforce.
The move marks the first significant round of layoffs at Google’s parent firm.
The layoffs were part of a larger attempt to “simplify” the company and limit the number of ongoing projects.
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Verily CEO Stephen Gillett informed staff about the cuts in a memo sent Wednesday, January 11.
Mr. Gillett said: “We are making changes that refine our strategy, prioritize our product portfolio and simplify our operating model.
“We will advance fewer initiatives with greater resources.”
Gillett said Verily will discontinue work on the Verily Value Suite analytics tool and numerous early-stage products.
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It will also bring teams closer together, promoting more collaboration.
Alphabet has mostly avoided the type of headcount reductions seen at competitor firms.
But, when asked during a December all-hands meeting, CEO Sundar Pichai refused to rule out probable layoffs.
Verily, which was launched under Alphabet’s moonshots unit and was previously known as Google Life Sciences, has been criticized for its approach to healthcare.
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The department has worked on projects ranging from diabetes tracking to mosquito-borne disease control, but its most successful work has been a clinical research initiative.
In September, Verily said that it had raised $1 billion in investment from Alphabet and other investors.
However, Alphabet has been strained to reduce losses in some of its long-term bets, such as Waymo, its self-driving car unit.
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