Not even Google parent Alphabet is safe from the dark economic clouds, unveiling Friday that it plans to lay off around 12,000 employees, or 6 percent of its staff, and becoming the latest technology giant to unveil big cuts.
The job reductions are the company’s largest ever, the Wall Street Journal reported, and will affect various units and regions.
“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,” Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted in a memo. Saying that he had “some difficult news to share,” he also took “full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.”
The CEO noted about the layoffs: “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. … 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.”
Pichai also wrote: “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.”
Amazon, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta Platforms and Microsoft are among the other tech powerhouses that have recently unveiled layoffs. Amazon said earlier this month that it would reduce its staff by 18,000, while Microsoft earlier this week said it would lay off 10,000 people. Meta announced plans to cut 11,000 employees last year, with the likes of Snap, Twitter and Netflix also making significant reductions in 2022.
“As we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimize their digital spend to do more with less,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in his layoffs memo this week. “We’re also seeing organizations in every industry and geography exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one.”