Google hubs 12,000 jobs and layoffs spread across the technology sector

LONDON (AP) — Google is laying off 12,000 workers, or about 6% of its workforce, becoming the latest tech firm to cut headcount as the economic boom the industry experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic ebbed.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who also leads parent company Alphabet, on Friday informed employees at the Silicon Valley giant about the cuts in an email that was also posted on the company. News blog.

It’s one of the largest rounds of layoffs ever and adds to tens of thousands of other job losses recently announced by Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta and other tech companies as they tighten their belts amid a grim outlook for the industry. Just this month, major companies in the sector announced at least 48,000 job cuts.

“Over the past two years, we have seen periods of explosive growth,” Pichai wrote. “To keep pace with and support this growth, we have set an economic reality different from the one we face today.”

He said the layoffs reflected a “rigorous review” by Google of its operations.

Pichai said the jobs being eliminated “include alphabet, product areas, functions, levels, and regions.” He said he was “deeply sorry” about the layoffs.

Regulatory filings show how Google’s workforce has swelled during the pandemic, swelling to nearly 187,000 people by late last year from 119,000 at the end of 2019.

Google, which was founded nearly a quarter of a century ago, Pichai said, “has had to go through tough economic cycles.”

“These are key moments for sharpening our focus, re-engineering our cost base, and directing our talent and capital to our highest priorities,” he wrote. He described the company’s investments in artificial intelligence as an area of ​​opportunity.

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According to Pichai’s letter, there will be job cuts in the United States and in other unspecified countries.

The tech industry was forced to freeze hiring and cut jobs “as the clock struck midnight with exponential growth and digital advertising headwinds on the horizon,” Wedbush Securities analysts Dan Ives, Taz Kogalgi and John Katsingris wrote Friday.

Just this week, Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts. or roughly 5% of its workforce. Amazon said this month it would cut 18,000 jobs, though that’s only a fraction of its 1.5 million strong workforce, while business software maker Salesforce is laying off about 8,000 employees, or 10% of the total. Last fall, he announced Metta, the mother on Facebook It will cut 11,000 jobs, or 13% of its workers. Elon Musk has cut his Twitter jobs after he acquired the social media company last fall.

These job cuts are hitting smaller players, too. UK-based cybersecurity firm Sophos has laid off 450 employees, or 10% of its global workforce. Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase has cut 20% of its workforce, about 950 jobs, in its second round of layoffs in less than a year.

“The stage is set: Tech names across the board are cutting costs to maintain and keep margins smaller” in the current economic climate, Wedbush analysts said.

U.S. employment was resilient despite signs of a slowing economy, and another 223,000 jobs were added in December.. However, the technology sector has grown exceptionally fast over the past several years due to increased demand as employees have started working remotely.

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The CEOs of a number of companies have been blamed for the very rapid growth, but those same companies, even after the latest round of job cuts, remain much larger than they were before the economic recovery from the pandemic began.

In their layoff announcements, both Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella emphasized the importance of leveraging advances in AI technology, reflecting the renewed competition among the tech giants sparked by Microsoft’s growing partnership with San Francisco startup OpenAI.

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