Alphabet Inc.’s health science unit, Verily Life Sciences, said on Wednesday it had laid off over 200 employees, or about 15% of its workforce, marking the first time in at least six years when Alphabet or its affiliate has announced job cuts.
The move follows similar retrenchment exercises in corporate America, concentrated among technology firms and banks, as companies look to curtail spending in a tough economy.
Verily said in a blog post that “We will advance fewer initiatives with greater resources.”
According to the company, development on the analytics tool Verily Value Suite and some early-stage products has been halted, and some employees will be relocated internally.
Verily, which emerged from Google’s X research programme in 2015, received a $1 billion investment from Alphabet in September of last year. At the time, the company announced that former president Stephen Gillett would take over as CEO, with co-founder Andy Conrad becoming executive chairman of the board.
Access, an Alphabet unit that houses Google Fiber, laid off some employees in 2016.