Since the beginning of 2024, Google has been implementing staff reductions across various departments, encompassing layoffs in its hardware and voice assistant divisions. Subsequently, the company announced the termination of numerous employees within its advertising sales team. This was followed by a reduction in its workforce at YouTube, involving the layoff of 100 employees.
Now, the research company X, operating under Google's parent company Alphabet, is undergoing a process of laying off dozens of employees. As per Bloomberg News, the company is actively seeking support from external investors to finance its projects.
Astro Teller, who leads X, informed employees, stating, "We are focused on spinning out more projects as independent companies. We continue to prioritise lean teams and capital efficiency as we expand our structure," he said, reported Bloomberg.
The X Lab division is undergoing a structural transition that aims to facilitate the more seamless spin-off of its ventures with support from both Alphabet and external investors. The layoffs were reportedly concentrated within the support staff roles.
"X tackles global challenges like climate change and connectivity and we continually look for ways to streamline how we bring our moonshots to life," a spokeswoman for the division told Reuters.
X Lab, Alphabet's research division, specialises in unique projects such as ‘Taara,’ with the objective of extending internet services to remote areas through beams of light. Notably, X Lab has played a pivotal role in the creation of innovative entities like the self-driving technology firm Waymo, the drone delivery service Wing, and the health tech startup Verily Life Sciences.
As per media reports, the company recently engaged in discussions with venture capitalists, sovereign wealth funds, and private equity firms regarding funding. Alphabet's ‘Other Bets’ unit, encompassing X Lab and hosting companies pioneering cutting-edge and experimental technologies, reported a loss of $1.19 billion in the third quarter.
Despite the loss, the figure was reduced compared to the $1.6 billion loss from a year ago, reflecting the parent company's efforts to control spending.
Earlier this year, Alphabet's CEO Sundar Pichai informed employees that additional roles might be affected. Google implemented layoffs across various departments in the same month.