Speaking at the Code Conference last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company needs to become 20% more efficient. This statement was perceived in the industry as an announcement of a reduction in the number of personnel. Now these assumptions began to be confirmed. It has become known that Google is cutting projects in its research unit known as Area 120.
The company informed employees of a “downsizing” that will cut the size of the incubator in half. Half of the teams learned that their projects were being cancelled. Previously, Area 120 had 14 projects in development, but now there are 7. Employees whose projects will not be renewed have been told that they will need to find a new job at Google by the end of January 2023 or they will be fired.
According to Area 120 head Elias Roman, the unit aims to focus its attention only on AI-oriented projects. Previously, the startup incubator was used to develop innovations within all areas of Google’s activities.
“Area 120 is an internal incubator for experimental new products. The group regularly starts and stops projects, trying to use the most promising opportunities,” said a Google representative. “We recently reported that Area 120 will shift its focus to projects based on Google’s deep investment in artificial intelligence and capable of solving important user problems. As a result, Area 120 is winding down several projects to make room for new work. Affected team members will receive dedicated support for new projects and opportunities at Google.”