Verily, the health-focused company housed under Google parent Alphabet, is laying off staff and announcing a sweeping reorganization, as shared in an email from CEO Stephen Gillett posted on Verily’s blog. “Approximately 15 percent of Verily roles” have been cut, Gillett said, which translates to more than 200 employees, according to The Wall Street Journal.
As part of Verily’s changes, the company will be discontinuing development on its Verily Value Suite (which you can read more about on this jargon-filled page) and some “early-stage products,” Gillett wrote. It will be shifting to a centralized product organization with “increasingly connected healthcare solutions.” Gillett also detailed the new leadership team, though noted that the company plans to hire a new chief scientific officer and is continuing its search for a new CFO.
It’s unclear if Alphabet is planning further cuts
The cuts mark the first for an Alphabet-owned company amid the many recent tech layoffs, The Wall Street Journal reports. Meta and Amazon have announced massive layoffs, for example, and companies including Twitter, Intel, Salesforce, Vimeo, DoorDash, and more have revealed firings of their own. (We’ve been tracking many of the layoffs and hiring freezes in tech here.)
Alphabet introduced Verily as a new name for the Google Life Sciences division in 2015. The company came under the spotlight early in the pandemic after former President Donald Trump claimed Google was building a nationwide coronavirus screening website, which it was not; instead, Verily initially launched a very limited screening website for people in the Bay Area in California.
Gillett is announcing Verily’s layoffs just over a week into his tenure as Verily’s CEO. Previously, Gillett was Verily’s COO and president, but he officially took over as CEO from Andy Conrad on January 3rd.
After we first published this story, The Information reported that Intrinsic, Alphabet’s company focused on software for industrial robots, is laying off 40 employees, which comprises about 17 percent of staff, according to Intrinsic spokesperson Scott Coriell. Coriell confirmed the layoffs and the number affected to The Verge, but couldn’t comment on the size of the company.
“This decision was made in light of shifts in prioritization and our longer-term strategic direction,” Coriell said in a statement. “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.”
It’s unclear if Google or other Alphabet-owned companies are planning further job cuts.
Correction January 12th, 12:19PM ET: The Information reported that Intrinsic’s layoffs comprise nearly 20 percent of staff, but Intrinsic spokesperson Scott Coriell tells The Verge they comprise about 17 percent of staff.
Update January 11th, 9:11PM ET: Added statement from Intrinsic.