Alphabet Pressures Businesses in ‘Other Bets’ Division on Cost Control

Alphabet is taking a firm stance on cost control within its Other Bets division, as Ruth Porat prepares to assume her new role as President of the company.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is urging businesses in its Other Bets division to demonstrate their ability to convert research efforts into profitable ventures, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Other Bets division comprises businesses that operate independently from Google, such as the self-driving vehicle operation Waymo and healthcare company Verily Life Sciences. Verily is already seeking additional measures to reduce expenses, as it has incurred greater losses than anticipated in 2023.

Alphabet has not yet provided any comment on the planned cost controls.

This shift in focus appears to align with Porat’s increased responsibilities within Alphabet. Currently serving as Chief Financial Officer, Porat will assume the newly created role of President and Chief Investment Officer of Alphabet and Google on September 1st. In this position, she will directly oversee the Other Bets division. According to The Wall Street Journal, Porat has been instrumental in enforcing commercial discipline across the various businesses within this segment.

Analysts at Melius Research noted that Porat’s promotion could bring about heightened scrutiny on the performance of “Other Bets” and potentially lead to improved cash return.

Earlier this year, Alphabet joined the wave of technology companies initiating large-scale layoffs, announcing plans to cut 12,000 jobs. Among the affected units were Verily Life Sciences and robotics software company Intrinsic, both housed within the Other Bets division.

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