Alphabet’s Project Wing Cuts Staff Before Progress Update

April 29, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Alphabet’s Project Wing initiative aimed at commercializing delivery drones of the future has conducted significant staff cuts, sources close to the company told Business Insider, adding that the program is still advancing and its leadership is preparing to provide the general public with a major progress update. The update will likely include a demonstration of Project Wing’s new drones, with the unit of Alphabet’s X being expected to provide it in the coming weeks, presumably before summer.

Sources with knowledge of the matter claim that a number of employees left the Project Wing program earlier this week, and while the initiative will once again put its unmanned aircraft into the spotlight in the near future, the commercialization of its solutions is still far from being completed. While insiders from the company say that the latest staff reductions at Project Wing are layoffs, a representative of X said that recent developments are just a result of a restructuring effort that started earlier this year following the departure of Project Wing’s former chief Dave Vos that was reportedly pushed out of the company by several managers who were dissatisfied with his work and complained to the head of X Astro Teller. Teller decided to remove Vos from the project in late 2016 and sources close to the company claim that the executive is now personally leading the ambitious drone delivery program. An X representative told Business Insider that Alphabet is still committed to Project Wing and will share an update on its progress in the near future, which is in line with what insiders are reporting.

Alphabet’s drone program was recently the subject of another report suggesting the initiative is going through some troublesome times after industry sources claimed that one of its employees collapsed due to extreme working conditions and ended up being pushed out of the company following an extended medical leave he had to take following the incident. Still, with Alphabet’s CEO Larry Page himself recently praising Project Wing in his public letter published alongside the company’s Q1 2017 financials, it seems that this particular initiative will be able to continue its efforts to revolutionize the delivery industry despite all of the aforementioned issues.