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The head of Alphabet’s ‘Project Loon’ balloon-internet project has stepped down after only six months

Tom Moore will stay on in an advisory role.


The head of Project Loon, an effort by Google parent company Alphabet to beam internet to remote regions of the world from balloons, has stepped down after only six months on the job, Alphabet’s subsidiary X has confirmed.

Tom Moore, who joined Loon last August, will remain on the project as an adviser for the next few months, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the story. Replacing him is Alastair Westgarth, CEO of cellular antenna company Quintel.

Before joining X, Moore co-founded satellite internet company WildBlue Communications Inc. We don’t know whether he will remain at X, Alphabet’s subsidiary devoted to “moonshot” projects, beyond the length of his advisory role.

The departure of Moore is not an isolated case of changing leadership at X. Dave Vos, the head of Project Wing, its drone delivery effort, left last October. X CEO Astro Teller took on an interim leadership role at the project, which he retains.

Here’s the full statement from X on the change in leadership:

“I can confirm that Tom Moore recently decided to step aside from his role as Project Loon lead, and that Alastair Westgarth is now heading up the project. Alastair is a seasoned entrepreneur and telecom industry veteran who brings more than 30 years of experience to the role. Alastair’s vision for Project Loon aligns with X’s philosophy of approaching huge problems, at scale, to improve the lives of millions or billions of people. Tom will remain at X in an advisory role for the next few months and we’re grateful for his contributions.”

The company added:

"Change is a constant at X, because it's essential for innovation. We’ve found that different phases of moonshot development benefit from different kinds of leadership, and that some individuals enjoy some phases of projects more than others."

Additional reporting by April Glaser.

This article originally appeared on

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