Alphabet's Verily plans cost cuts amid pressure on Other Bets unit - WSJ

August 17, 2023 12:45 AM EDT

FILE PHOTO: Small figurines are seen in front of displayed Alphabet logo in this illustration taken February 11, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

(Reuters) - Alphabet's health science unit is planning additional expense cuts after losing more money than expected so far this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing an internal presentation.

Verily Life Sciences posted wider-than-expected operating losses through June, missing its projections by $17 million, the report said. Last year, operating losses totaled $568 million on revenue of $559 million.

Part of Google parent Alphabet's Other Bets unit, which was born out of the Google X research program in 2015, Verily already laid off employees and discontinued some products earlier this year, the report added.

Alphabet and Verily did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The Other Bets businesses, which have racked up more than $30 billion in losses since Alphabet began separately reporting their financial performance, now feel pressure to rein in spending and turn their research into commercial profits, the report said, citing people familiar with their operations.

According to the report, Verily's chief financial officer, Utpal Koppikar, told employees last week that the company was performing below expectations, but Google would still provide additional funding if necessary.

In January, Verily laid off more than 200 employees, or about 15% of its workforce, marking the first time in at least six years when Alphabet or its affiliate announced job cuts.

(Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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