• A spokesperson said Intrinsic will provide 'proactive support' to affected employees
  • Verily cut more than 200 roles earlier this week
  • Alphabet settled to pay over $390 million in November due to location tracking

Alphabet has joined the list of tech companies that laid off employees during the new year, as the Mountain View-based company confirmed lay-offs in its robotics division after cutting 15% of the workforce in its life science organization, Verily earlier this week.

"Intrinsic's leadership has made the difficult decision to let go a number of our team members," a spokesperson for Alphabet's robotics unit told TechCrunch on Thursday. "The decision was made in light of shifts in prioritization and our longer-term strategic direction. It will ensure Intrinsic can continue to allocate resources to our highest priority initiatives."

The spokesperson also revealed that Intrinsic has communicated "directly" with the laid-off employees, adding that the company is offering "as much proactive support as possible."

Finally, the spokesperson noted that Intrinsic is looking to prioritize cooperation with key industry partners, building on the work for its AI and software platform, and integrating its recently-acquired companies Vicarious and Open Robotics.

A source with knowledge of the matter told The Information that the job cuts will affect 40 employees at Intrinsic.

The outlet further reported that it appears Alphabet's Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat is working to lay off staff at the conglomerate's smaller subsidiaries called "Other Bets" in a bid to cut costs.

On Wednesday, Verily CEO Stephen Gillett published a message sent to employees about the layoffs. "I have promised you all transparency in what we're doing, and this means we have eliminated approximately 15 percent (more than 200) of Verily roles due to discontinued programs," Gillett wrote.

Gillett said the insights hub Verily Value Suite will be discontinued, as well as "some early-stage products," including the company's work in microneedles for drug delivery.

Aside from the tech industry downturn that has been sweeping companies left to right and leaving companies such as Meta and Twitter with fewer staff, Alphabet has also been dealing with multiple legal troubles at Google.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Alphabet filed a motion in December to ask the judge for a dismissal of a 2020 government-led anti-trust lawsuit that alleged Google violated laws in its dominance of search advertising.

In its motion, Alphabet argued that it had agreements with Apple and other tech companies to make Google the default search engine, but the said agreements do not stop smartphone makers to promote Google rivals.

Also in November, Google settled to pay $391.5 million after more than 40 states alleged that the search engine giant illegally tracked users' locations.

The brand logo of Alphabet Inc's Google is seen outside its office in Beijing, China. REUTERS/Thomas Peter