Google lays off 12,000 workers as tech giants continue to shed jobs

  • Google announced on Friday that it was laying off about 12,000 employees, or 6% of its global workforce.
  • In a memo to staff, Sundar Pichai, CEO of parent company Alphabet, claimed responsibility for the cuts.
  • Read Pichai’s full message to Google employees below.

Google is laying off 12,000 employees, or about 6.4% of its global workforce, Sundar Pichai, CEO of parent company Alphabet, told staff in a memo on Friday.

Pichai told staff that he takes “full responsibility for the decisions that got us here.”

“Over the past two years, we have seen periods of dramatic growth,” Pichai told staff in an email. “To match and drive that growth, we engaged a different economic reality than we face today.”

He said the company had undertaken a “rigorous review” of the company and that the people being fired “cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.”

Pichai added that the company will hold a town hall meeting on Monday to discuss the news.

“Until then, please take good care as you absorb this difficult news,” he wrote. “If you’re just starting your work day, feel free to work from home today.”

As of September 30, Alphabet had 186,779 employees.

Other companies including Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and Amazon have already announced layoffs this month. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, said in November that it was laying off more than 11,000 employees, or 13% of its workforce. Chief economists expect job cuts to continue in 2023.

Here is a copy of the letter:

Google employees,

I have hard news to share. We have decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 jobs. We have already sent a separate email to affected US employees. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices.

This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people who we had a hard time recruiting and loved working with. I am deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will affect the lives of Google employees weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that got us here.

In the last two years we have seen periods of dramatic growth. In order to harmonize and stimulate this growth, we hired employees for a different economic reality than the one we face today.

I am confident of the great opportunity that lies ahead thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. In order to fully capture it, we will have to make difficult decisions. So we undertook a rigorous review of product areas and functions to ensure our people and roles were aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we eliminate reflect the outcome of that review. They expand Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.

To the Googlers who are leaving us: Thank you for working so hard to help people and businesses everywhere. Your contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful for them.

While this transition will not be easy, we will support employees as they search for their next opportunity.

In the US:

  • We will pay employees for the entire notice period (minimum 60 days).
  • We will also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks’ salary plus two weeks for each additional year at Google and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU entitlement.
  • We will pay bonuses for 2022 and the remaining vacation time.
  • We will offer 6 months of healthcare, job search services and immigration support for those affected.
  • Outside the US, we will support employees in accordance with local practices.

As a nearly 25-year-old company, we are sure to go through tough economic cycles. These are important times to sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.

Being limited in some areas allows us to bet big on others. The company’s pivot to AI a few years ago led to revolutionary advances in our business and the industry as a whole.

Thanks to those early investments, Google’s products are better than ever. And we’re about to share some brand new experiences for users, developers, and businesses. There is a significant opportunity ahead of us with artificial intelligence in our products, and we are ready to approach it boldly and responsibly.

All this work is a continuation of the “healthy disregard for the impossible” that has been at the core of our culture since the beginning. When I look around Google today, I see the same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That is why I remain optimistic about our ability to fulfill our mission, even in our most difficult days. Today is certainly one of them.

I’m sure you have many questions about how we will move forward. We will organize a town hall on Monday. Check your calendar for details. Until then, take care of yourself as you absorb this difficult news. As part of that, if you’re just starting your workday, feel free to work from home today.

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