October 27, 2016

Layoffs at Alphabet Access to Hit 9%, Google Fiber to “Pause” Plans, CEO Leaves, as Alphabet Cracks Down on Costs

Five years ago, when Google announced that it would build a super-high-speed fiber-optic network in Kansas City, and then roll it out in other cities, it started an effort to own and control the data pipelines going into homes and businesses.

Given how frustrated consumers are with their ISPs, it seems people couldn’t wait for Google Fiber, now operated by Alphabet’s Access. Google then spent a fortune building out the network in select cities around the country. This could have been huge. At a huge cost.

“Amazing bet,” is what Craig Barratt, senior VP at Alphabet and CEO of Access, called Google Fiber in a blogpost yesterday. In the same breath, he also announced that they would “pause” the build-out of Google Fiber in cities where it had been planned, that there would be layoffs and reassignments, though he didn’t say how many, and that he’d “step aside” as CEO of Access.

His replacement has not been announced.

He’s the third CEO of an Alphabet division to part ways since June. He prefaced this whole debacle this way:

And thanks to the hard work of everyone on the Access team, our business is solid: our subscriber base and revenue are growing quickly, and we expect that growth to continue. I am extremely proud of what we’ve built together in five short years.

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