Google to Fire 12,000 Workers
- Google has joined other tech firms, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta, in laying off staff.
- Alphabet said the company was turning its attention to artificial intelligence and would eliminate products that were not aligned with its priorities.
- Google admitted that it overhired in anticipation of a boom in the market.
Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, announced on Friday that it is slashing 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its workforce, as the technology industry struggles with layoffs and businesses gamble their futures on artificial intelligence (AI). Google has remained one of the biggest players in the research field, but the decision to reduce its workforce spells bigger trouble for the tech world at large.
Google’s decision to slash jobs follows a similar move by its rivals Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta, which together have laid off tens of thousands of employees. Sundar Pichai, CEO of parent company Alphabet, said the company will eliminate products and operations that are not “aligned with our highest priorities as a company.”
Pichai mentioned that a lot of those priorities center on artificial intelligence. He cited Alphabet’s efforts in AI and said that they had contributed to the improvement of “Google’s products” and the company’s plans to offer some whole new experiences for consumers, developers, and companies.
The recent layoffs will affect teams across the organization, including recruiting, various corporate operations, as well as some technical and product teams. Pichai acknowledged that Google had increased its staff in anticipation of growth that never happened. He wrote in a mail sent to staffs,
To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.
Pichai said the decision to layoff staff would mean “saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with,” adding that he was “deeply sorry for that.”
“The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here,” Pichai wrote.
Google also said it would offer support to affected employees, which includes a severance package as well as healthcare benefits, employment, and immigration. Alphabet has already messaged the affected individuals, but the process will take longer in some countries due to local policies.
Experts believe the massive layoff will cost Alphabet as much as the $1 billion Microsoft said it would spend on affected employees. However, there have not been any official confirmations of the exact figure.