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Alphabet’s ‘Other Bets’ Come Under Pressure as Health Focus Grows

More than seven years after Google morphed into Alphabet, employees and investors are no closer to figuring out whether Alphabet can generate long-term economic value from moonshot bets such as self-driving taxis, drug discovery and deliveries via drones. These “other bets,” as the company refers to them, are essentially a wager on its ability to develop and use artificial intelligence to solve difficult problems faster and more effectively than startups and more-established rivals. So far they’ve cost Alphabet around $30 billion in operating losses.

As shareholders pressure Alphabet over its hiring and spending, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat and other financial executives are likely to seek to raise a lot more capital from external investors to buttress the balance sheets of its other-bet subsidiaries, or they may even consider spinning them off, say people who have been involved with the companies. Today The Information is updating its org chart of Alphabet’s other bets to show at least two dozen changes to their senior ranks since late 2020, reflecting a bigger focus on drug- and health-related research. The chart shows the top 100 people.

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