Google’s parent company Alphabet is cutting 12,000 job, around six per cent of its global workforce, according an internal memo from Sundar Pichai, Alphabet's CEO.
In an email on Friday morning, Pichai told employees that he takes “full responsibility for the decisions that led us here” but the company has a “substantial opportunity in front of us” with its early investments in artificial intelligence (AI).
News outlet Reuters reported that the layoffs are global but are set to impact US staff immediately, and will affect teams across the company including recruiting and some corporate functions, as well as some engineering and products teams.
In the email, which has since been uploaded as a blog post, Pichai said the company will be paying affected employees at least 16 weeks of severance and six months worth of health benefits in the US, with other regions receiving packages based on local laws and practices.
When contacted for a statement, Google offered no further comment beyond the Pichai’s email.
In October 2022, Alphabet posted lower-than-expected numbers for its third financial quarter, where it fell behind both revenue and profit expectations. However, while overall revenue growth slowed to six per cent in the quarter for Alphabet, Google Cloud grew 38 per cent year-on-year to $6.9 billion, giving the company much needed support.
A month later, news outlet the Information predicted that Google could be set to cut at least 10,000 jobs after changes to the company’s Google Reviews and Development (GRAD) program saw managers having to allocate a low performer rating to at least six per cent of employees compared to two per cent under the old performance review process.
At the time, some industry watchers speculated that the reported move to increase the number of employees ranked as low performers would end with these employees losing their jobs.
The new comes hot on the heels of several other large scale layoff announcements from tech companies, including Microsoft and Amazon who announced they would be cutting 10,000 and 18,000 jobs, respectively.
According to Layoffs.fyi, the online tracker keeping tabs on job losses in the technology sector, in the first 20 days of 2023, 133 tech companies have laid off 38,815 employees across the globe.