Google parent Alphabet loses another high-profile hire

Drip. Drip. Drip.

That’s the sound of talent leaving Google’s parent company Alphabet, as one after another important hire shows himself the door.

In June, Tony Fadell, CEO of the Nest smart-home enterprise, left in the wake of problems with the technology and complaints from employees about his management style — though entrepreneur Fadell may have just been ready for something new.

Two months later, the public face of Google’s self-driving car program, chief technology officer Chris Urmson, hit the road and went on to co-found his own autonomous vehicle company, Aurora Innovation.

Mere days after that, Google Ventures (Alphabet’s venture capital arm, now called GV) lost its CEO Bill Maris, eight years after he founded the financing unit.

In October, Craig Barratt, CEO for 2 1/2 years of the unit running Google Fiber, said goodbye after planned deployment of the ultra-fast internet service was drastically curtailed.

The same month, the company saw Dave Vos, head of the Project Wing drone-delivery operation since 2014, take wing himself not long after overseeing drone-dropoff of burritos to Virginia Tech students.

And now, Dr. Thomas Insel, one of Alphabet’s “most prestigious hires from the health-care sector,” has left the firm’s life sciences unit Verily, according to CNBC.

The neuroscientist and former head of the National Institute of Mental Health had headed up Verily’s work in mental health. At Verily, he ran an initiative to create new technologies for combating depression and anxiety, according to CNBC.

The work on mental health won’t be interrupted by Insel’s departure, a Verily spokesperson told CNBC.

“Verily is resolved to make a difference for people with mental health conditions,” Carolyn Wang said.


Photo: Technology workers on the Google campus (Bay Area News Group)


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