- Verily Life Sciences plans to lay off more than 200 staff members as it discontinues a medical software program and several early stage products, according to a company blog post from CEO Stephen Gillett.
- The cuts will affect about 15% of roles at Verily, the life science sibling of Google, as the company narrows its focus on a smaller set of priority projects. Verily will largely focus on its precision risk solution, Granular.
- Gillett told employees the plan is to build “the data and evidence backbone that closes the gap between research and care.”
Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, rose to prominence on the back of reports of initiatives in a wide range of areas, from the development of contact lenses that measure blood sugar levels to the release of sterile male mosquitoes intended to stop the spread of diseases. Some of the high-profile projects, including the contact lenses, have landed on the scrap heap in recent years.
Now, amid a wider round of layoffs in the tech industry, Verily is slimming down. The company, which has more than 1,600 employees, will stop work on products including Verily Value Suite, a healthcare analytics software program.
“We are making changes that refine our strategy, prioritize our product portfolio and simplify our operating model. We will advance fewer initiatives with greater resources. As we move into Verily’s next chapter, we are doubling down on our purpose, with the goal to ultimately be operating in all areas of precision health,” Gillett wrote in the blog post.
The cuts come amid investor pressure on Alphabet, the parent company for Google, Verily and other businesses, to reduce the losses it is making on bets outside of its core online search and advertising business. Verily is part of Alphabet but also has outside investors, with groups including private-equity firm Silver Lake and Singaporean fund Temasek Holdings backing the business. The company raised $1 billion last year.