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Google Restructures Healthcare Unit, Reduces Staff by 200

  • Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL healthcare division Verily Life Sciences let go of more than 200 employees under a broader restructuring drive.
  • The downsizing will likely affect 15% of roles at Verily. The division will shut operations on a medical software program called Verily Value Suite and several early-stage products, the Wall Street Journal reported citing CEO Stephen Gillett’s email. 
  • Verily has over 1,600 employees.
  • Verily supervised a portfolio of healthcare projects primarily focused on applying data and technology to patient treatments.
  • Gillett’s email read, “We will advance fewer initiatives with greater resources.”
  • Originally known as Google Life Sciences, Verily is one of the largest businesses besides Google under the Alphabet umbrella, part of a group of companies called “Other Bets,” WSJ writes.
  • Lately, Verily proposed to cut down on its huge collection of projects spanning insurance to mosquito breeding.
  • The reorganization reflected continued difficulties facing big tech companies trying to crack the healthcare industry. 
  • Gillett wrote that Verily would primarily focus on products related to research and care while concentrating more on decisions in a central leadership team rather than individual groups.
  • Gillett took over as Verily CEO in January, succeeding Andy Conrad, who became executive Chair.
  • Activist investor TCI Fund Management called on Alphabet in November to reduce losses in Other Bets like Verily.
  • Alphabet’s Other Bets recorded $1.6 billion in operating losses from $209 million in revenue during the third quarter last year, mainly from selling health technology and internet services. 
  • Price Action: GOOG shares closed higher by 3.38% at $92.26 on Wednesday.

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