Alphabet has finally joined the long list of companies laying off employees, with its Intrinsic and Verily divisions impacted.
Alphabet has long prided itself on never conducting layoffs, but that record has finally been broken. The company’s robotics division, Intrinsic, as well as Verily, its health science business, have both announced layoffs.
“I have promised you all transparency in what we’re doing, and this means we have eliminated approximately 15 percent of Verily roles due to discontinued programs, full control of Granular and Onduo, and redundancy in the new, centralized organization,” wrote Verily CEO Stephen Gillett.
An Intrinsic spokesperson gave a similar statement to TechCrunch:
“Intrinsic’s leadership has made the difficult decision to let go a number of our team members,” the spokesperson said. “We have communicated the news directly with them. We fully acknowledge how hard this will be and are offering as much proactive support as possible. This decision was made in light of shifts in prioritization and our longer-term strategic direction. It will ensure Intrinsic can continue to allocate resources to our highest priority initiatives, such as building our software and AI platform, integrating the recent strategic acquisitions of Vicarious and OSRC (commercial arm Open Robotics), and working with key industry partners. While incredibly tough to do, we believe this decision is necessary for us to continue our mission.”
Alphabet’s layoffs are the latest warning signs regarding the state of the economy. While it’s one thing for a startup with limited funds to lay off employees, it’s another thing entirely for a company with Alphabet’s resources to lay off staff — especially when it has prided itself on avoiding that plan of action for decades.