Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is cutting 12,000 jobs in the company’s largest ever layoffs. Affecting more than six percent of its global workforce, the firings are the latest in an unrelenting trend of big tech companies making similar choices.
Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s chief executive, wrote to Google employees about the “difficult news” in a note posted to the company’s blog on Friday.
“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,” Pichai writes. “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.”
The cuts will impact employees across product areas, countries, and responsibilities. Google will pay U.S. employees at least 16 weeks of severance, their 2022 bonus, and six months worth of health benefits. Packages for those affected in other countries will reflect local practices.
Pichai added that the company “hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today”. In October 2022, Alphabet reported a profit decline of 27 percent compared to the previous year. Since, Pichai announced that Google would hinder expenses, one of a number of company-wide cost-cutting solutions including shutting down its cloud gaming service, Stadia, which ceased operations at midnight on Wednesday.
Across the tech industry, workers have been made redundant and fired en masse. This month alone, Microsoft announced that it will let go 10,000 employees over the next few months; Amazon also broke news that a total of 18,000 employees will be fired. meanwhile, Twitter continues to lay off employees under Musk’s reign. In late 2022, Meta announced mass layoffs, joining Snap who had earlier cut 20 percent of its workforce in August.