"Difficult news": Google laying off 12,000 amid wave of tech industry job cuts

Jan 20 2023, 2:35 pm

The parent company of tech giant Google, Alphabet, will axe 12,000 employees as mass layoffs continue across the global tech industry.

“I have some difficult news to share. We’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo sent to staff 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.”

The layoffs will affect Google employees worldwide, and the process might take a while for jobs outside the US due to local laws and practices.

Pichai said he takes “full responsibility” for the decisions that led the company to this point.

“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,” he explained.

In his email, the CEO also told employees they could work from home to “absorb the news.”

He also said Google will help laid-off staffers find their next opportunity and transition.

US employees will be paid during their full notification period — a minimum of 60 days. Their severance packages begin at 16 weeks’ salary and two additional weeks for every year spent at Google. Bonuses and vacation time for 2022 will also be paid out.

“We’ll be offering six months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected,” Pichai noted. “Outside the US, we’ll support employees in line with local practices.”

Google staff will attend a town hall meeting on Monday to have their questions answered.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced major layoffs just after investing US$10 billion in OpenAI chatbot ChatGPT. Amazon, too, has a massive layoff plan in the works.

Imaan SheikhImaan Sheikh

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