Among the many divisions impacted by Google’s widespread layoffs, the Fuchsia operating system and Area 120 incubator teams have been cut back significantly.
On Friday morning, Google initiated significant layoffs, set to displace 12,000 employees from the company. The full impact of the move is still actively unfolding, but additional details are beginning to come to light.
According to the New York Times, a significant portion of the Googlers responsible for the Fuchsia operating system was included in the wave of layoffs. Of the 400 individuals involved with the project, at least 16% were let go — a statistic 9to5Google can corroborate. Considering so far only Google employees in the US have been let go, this number may climb further in the coming weeks.
Ahead of these layoffs, Fuchsia appeared to be on an upward trajectory within Google. After years of being a skunkworks project, the company’s from-scratch operating system has grown to be used in the Nest Hub series and is poised to be used in an upcoming device. There are even indications of Google ramping up Fuchsia development internally in recent months.
Considering Google’s overall workforce is set to be reduced by around 6%, the Fuchsia team appears to have been targeted more directly by the layoffs than other divisions. It’s not yet clear what this may mean for the project going forward.
Meanwhile, Area 120 — once known as Google’s incubator for experimental ideas like smart replies and GameSnacks — has reportedly been all but dismantled by Friday’s layoffs. According to Bloomberg, the division was reduced to just three core projects, with nearly all other employees being let go.
The move comes just months after the Area 120 division was cut back by half in September. At the time, the move was framed as a refocusing of Area 120 to work on “AI-first projects.” The incubator’s three remaining projects are set to “graduate” this year, potentially spelling the end of Area 120.
More on Google:
- Google to lay off up to 12,000 employees with immediate effect
- Google layoffs are wide-ranging as Larry Page, Sergey Brin consulted on AI future
- Google Play Store will be forced to house other app stores by next week as India upholds ruling
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