Google Parent Alphabet to Lay Off 12,000 Employees: ‘We’ll Need to Make Tough Choices,’ Says CEO

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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is laying off 12,000 employees, CEO Sundar Pichai revealed in a blog post on Friday. The lay offs will reduce the company’s global work force by 6%.

In an email to Google employees, Pichai wrote:

“I have some difficult news to share. We’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles. We’ve already sent a separate email to employees in the U.S. who are affected. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices.

This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I’m 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.

Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.

I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. To fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices. So, we’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.”

In the U.S. Alphabet will pay employees during the full notification period for a minimum of 60 days and will also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google and will pay 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time. Laid off employees will also be offered six months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected.

Outside the U.S., Alphabet will support employees in line with local practices.

“As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.

Being constrained in some areas allows us to bet big on others. Pivoting the company to be AI-first years ago led to groundbreaking advances across our businesses and the whole industry.

Thanks to those early investments, Google’s products are better than ever. And we’re getting ready to share some entirely new experiences for users, developers and businesses, too. We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.

All this work is a continuation of the “healthy disregard for the impossible” that’s been core to our culture from the beginning. When I look around Google today, I see that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That’s why I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days. Today is certainly one of them,” Pichai added.

The lay offs are part of a larger slowdown in the global tech industries. In 2022, Facebook parent Meta laid off 11,000 staff. Earlier this week, Microsoft cut 10,000 jobs and Amazon is also laying off 18,000 employees.

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