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Google’s self-driving car team is hiring executives as it prepares to spin out from Alphabet’s X

The company also expects “significant growth in both team size and geographical footprint” as it graduates from Alphabet’s moonshot shop.

A Google self-driving car on the road

Google’s self-driving project, led by ex-Hyundai CEO and president John Krafcik, is expected to be graduating from Alphabet’s moonshot shop “soon.” That’s according to Krafcik, who spoke at the Nikkei Innovation Forum in Palo Alto in October.

While the timeline of the project’s impending spinout isn’t any clearer two months later, the self-driving project is evidently preparing to separate from the mothership by hiring several of its own executives to positions X, formerly known as Google X, already has.

The first was Kevin Vosen, who was hired to be the self-driving arm’s chief legal officer. Now, Alphabet’s self-driving shop is looking for a head of real estate — or someone to secure new space for the autonomous company when it “graduates” from X.

In other words, the project is moving away from having to depend on X for things like dealing with regulation and expansion.

More interesting than the position itself — which indicates Krafcik and his team are looking for a physical space to hold the new company — is the description of the company included in the posting. The listing says that it expects to grow “significantly” as it breaks away from X. And not just in terms of staff, but also its physical size.

“Our path forward includes significant growth in both team size and geographical footprint,” the job listing reads. “Now we [sic] searching for a Head of Real Estate and Workplace Services to help usher our project into this next chapter.”

While vague, it’s one of the first times the self-driving project has given any official indication of its growth ambitions. A representative would not comment on how much it expects to grow.

The project emphasizes talent acquisition and retention in the post — an issue that has become increasingly important as more players attempt to build or produce self-driving cars.

One of the responsibilities of this high-level position would be to “use the workspace and amenities skillfully (e.g. food, fitness) to add to the ‘top line’ of the business by attracting and retaining talent, while maintaining efficient spend on the ‘bottom line’ operational expenditure and operational expenditure costs.”

Already the self-driving project has a physical presence in Mountain View, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Kirkland, Wash.; and Phoenix, Ariz. It recently hit the two million mile mark of miles driven.

Update: This headline was updated to include Alphabet’s X. Originally it read Google’s self-driving car team is hiring executives as it prepares to spin out from Alphabet.

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