Alphabet is cutting dozens of jobs at its X moonshot lab

Just days after Alphabet and Google CEO Sudar Pichai warned workers of more downsizing this year, the former is laying off dozens of employees, mainly support staff, at its moonshot lab. Alphabet is also restructuring X (not to be confused with the platform formerly known as Twitter) to make it easier to spin out projects as independent startups with backing from outside investors. Alphabet confirmed these changes, which were first reported by Bloomberg, to Engadget.

“We’re expanding our approach to focus on spinning out more projects as independent companies funded through market-based capital,” X division head Astro Teller told staff in a memo. “We’ll do this by opening our scope to collaborate with a broader base of industry and financial partners, and by continuing to emphasize lean teams and capital efficiency.”

“This approach will give us more opportunity to focus on what Xers do best: inventing breakthrough technologies to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” Teller added. “Because the world needs moonshots more now than ever.”

X is all about attempting to tackle major problems such as food waste, climate change and connectivity through innovation, but it hasn’t found a ton of success through its spinoff businesses as yet. Last year, former Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat became the company’s president and chief investment officer and now oversees X.

As Bloomberg notes, there has been a greater onus on X to turn its ambitious ideas into profitable businesses over the last few years, while Alphabet is cutting costs across the board. Earlier this month, Google laid off hundreds of workers from various divisions, including the hardware, engineering and ad sales teams, as it places more emphasis on artificial intelligence. A year ago, Google let go most workers from its Area 120 startup incubator.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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