Less than a month ago, Alphabet’s industrial robotics subsidiary Intrinsic said it acquired a team of people from a software development firm called Open Robotics. On Wednesday, Intrinsic went in the other direction by laying off 40 employees, a spokesperson confirmed to The Information. A person close to the company said the layoffs represented nearly 20% of employees.
The U-turn at Intrinsic, which spun out of Alphabet’s X incubator a year and a half ago, happened the same day that a bigger Alphabet subsidiary, life-sciences firm Verily, cut 15% of its roughly 1,700 employees, The Information earlier reported. They suggest that Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat has embarked on a cost-cutting effort across the conglomerate, which has a dozen subsidiary businesses, including Google. While the cuts happened at a group of more-nascent businesses Alphabet calls “Other Bets,” they’ve raised the level of concern among Google employees about potential layoffs.