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Alphabet’s Verily announces layoffs amid strategic restructuring

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Alphabet’s life science subsidiary Verily‘s new CEO, Stephen Gillett, announced in an email to employees on Wednesday that it’s laying off 15% of its staff due to the need to center its strategy, prioritize products and change its operating model. 

Verily has over 1,600 employees, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the layoffs, meaning more than 200 employees will be affected. 

The reorganization will affect approximately 15% of Verily’s roles due to discontinued programs, redundancy in the organization and gaining full control of its subsidiaries – data-driven risk analysis tool Granular and digital health platform for chronic disease management Onduo.

The company will discontinue development of its health system analytics tool Verily Value Suite, as well as its work in remote patient monitoring for heart failure and microneedles for drug delivery.

It will shift its focus to utilizing AI and data science to become “the data and evidence backbone for precision health” by narrowing the gap between research and care and prioritizing products that deliver evidence-based precision interventions. The company will also expand Granular and streamline its operating model to promote more collaboration between its teams. 

In addition to the layoffs, Gillett announced a restructuring of its leadership team. 

Amy Abernethy will become the president of product development and chief medical officer, while Lisa Greenbaum will increase her responsibilities in the new role of chief commercial officer, overseeing sales, corporate strategy teams and marketing.

Jordi Parramon, president of Verily’s devices business, will leave Verily “later this year,” in the meantime staying on to help with the transition. Scott Burke will take on new responsibilities as chief technology officer, including adding hardware engineering and devices to his plate.  

STAT confirmed that cofounder Jessica Mega and former president of health platforms Vivian Lee are also leaving the company. 

Verily is in search of a chief financial officer and is hiring a chief scientific officer. 

THE LARGER TREND

The life sciences company launched in 2015 out of Alphabet’s research and development arm, then called Google X. 

In September, Verily announced it raised $1 billion in an investment round led by its parent company Alphabet alongside a shakeup of its executive team.

The company’s founder Andy Conrad stepped down as CEO, moving to an executive chairman position on Verily’s board, and Gillett was announced as the company’s new CEO. He took the reins as CEO just this month.

Gillett joined the life science subsidiary from Google two years ago to start up a Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. Later in 2020, he took on the role of chief operating and the president title. He was previously cofounder and CEO of Alphabet cybersecurity company Chronicle, which is now part of Google Cloud. 

The life sciences company has entered into numerous partnerships, including with cardiac remote monitoring company iRhythm Technologies, San Diego-based connected sleep device maker ResMed, biopharma company Sosei Heptares, cosmetics giant L’Oréal, dental care company Colgate-Palmolive and the Mayo Clinic.

Verily also acquired clinical trial management system developer SignalPath and invested in AI voice tool Syllable, biotech company EQRx and biomanufacturing startup Culture Biosciences.



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