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Activist TCI Calls for Major Cost Cuts and Waymo Closure at Google Parent Alphabet: WSJ

Activist hedge fund TCI Fund Management, which owns about $6 billion of Google parent Alphabet’s (US:GOOG) outstanding shares, wants the company to aggressively cut costs and losses in long-term investments like its self-driving car unit Waymo, saying the company would be more efficient after the changes, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

London-based TCI, which said it owned shares worth more than $6 billion in Alphabet, made the requests in a letter to Chief Executive Sundar Pichai on Tuesday, writing that it has been a significant shareholder since 2017.TCI, based in London, has held the shares since 2017.

“We are writing to express our view that the cost base of Alphabet is too high and management needs to take aggressive action,” the paper quoted from the letter. “The company has too many employees, and the cost per employee is too high.”

Alphabet didn’t immediately respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

The paper reported that TCI held conversations with former Google executives who suggested the company could be operated more effectively with significantly fewer employees,

“You have publicly stated that Google should be 20% more efficient. We could not agree more,” TCI said in the letter.

TCI, the report noted, also asked Alphabet to begin disclosing profit margin targets for the company’s Google Services segment, which includes the core search business. It said a reasonable target would be at least 40%.

“Unfortunately, enthusiasm for self-driving cars has collapsed, and competitors have exited the market,” the paper said, again quoting from the TCI letter. “Waymo has not justified its excessive investment, and its losses should be reduced dramatically.”

This article originally appeared on Fintel

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