According to the latest report, people familiar with the matter revealed that Google is shrinking its internal new project incubator Area 120. Recently, Google is reining in spending and focusing more on artificial intelligence.
Some teams at Area 120 were notified this week that their projects had been restructured or canceled, according to people familiar with the matter. Affected employees will need to find new positions within Google within a period of time, or they will be laid off. According to sources, half of Area 120’s team was affected.
A Google spokesperson said in a statement that Area 120 “will refocus on projects that build on Google’s deep investment in artificial intelligence and potentially address important user problems.” As a result, Area 120 is gradually shrinking multiple projects to make way for new work. Affected team members will receive dedicated support as they explore new projects and opportunities within Google.”
People familiar with the matter said Area 120 will continue to incubate new projects. In its business restructuring in recent years, Google has often given affected employees a window to find new roles internally. However, employees could face an uphill struggle, especially as Google’s hiring slows overall.
Founded in 2016, Area 120 provides some employees with entrepreneurial opportunities within Google. Area 120’s website states: “Many of Google’s best ideas start out as hobby projects.” One of the incubator’s most successful projects is GameSnack. This is a gaming platform launched in 2020 for users with low-end mobile phones on slow mobile networks.
Google has been signaling to employees and capital markets of late that it will exercise greater financial discipline in the face of a potential recession. In an email to employees in July, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google plans to “focus hiring in engineering, technology, and other key roles” for the rest of this year and next.