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The People With Power at Alphabet’s Other Bets

Photo: Art by Jesse Howe

The sudden retirement last year of Alphabet’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, raised the prospect that newly promoted Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai would curtail business efforts external to the Google cash cow. He’s shown no sign of taking that direction so far, and budgets for many of the “Other Bets,” as the tech conglomerate calls them, are expected to increase modestly next year, said a person with knowledge of the situation.

People at some of the subsidiaries, which collectively lose about $4.5 billion annually, are proceeding with new initiatives: One is a previously unreported industrial robotics project that could become a stand-alone Alphabet subsidiary. It’s currently housed within X, the “moonshot factory” subsidiary that aims to hatch new tech businesses, said a person with knowledge of it.

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