Google bins half its research projects

Google is cutting half of its research and development (R&D) projects, which could result in significant job cuts, TechCrunch reports.

The tech giant has confirmed that it is binning projects at its R&D division, known as Area 120, and it informed staff of a “reduction in force” on Tuesday, 13 September 2022.

The move will see Google cut its fourteen projects housed in Area 120 down to seven.

The tech giant told staff whose projects were cancelled that they need to find a new job within the company by 31 January 2023 or risk being terminated.

A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company would be shifting its focus to only AI-first projects.

“Area 120 is an in-house incubator for experimental new products. The group regularly starts and stops projects with an eye toward pursuing the most promising opportunities,” TechCrunch quoted the spokesperson as saying.

“We’ve recently shared that Area 120 will be shifting its focus to projects that build on Google’s deep investment in AI and have the potential to solve important user problems.”

“As a result, Area 120 is winding down several projects to make way for new work. Impacted team members will receive dedicated support as they explore new projects and opportunities at Google,” the spokesperson added.

CNBC News reports that Google CEO Sundar Pichai hopes to make the company 20% more efficient.

The decision to scrap half of its R&D project likely aligns with Pinchai’s hopes.

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