January 31, 2023

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Google parent Alphabet to lay off 12,000 workers

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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is laying off 12,000 workers, CEO Sundar Pichai revealed in a blog post on Friday. The layoffs will reduce the company’s global workforce by 6%.

In an email to Google employees, Pichai wrote:

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

It also means saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people who we’ve worked hard to recruit and loved working with. I am deeply sorry for this. The impact these changes will have on the lives of Googlers rests heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that got us here.

In the last two years we have seen a period of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we recruited for a different economic reality than the one we face today.

I am confident in the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and the enormous opportunity ahead of us thanks to our initial investment in AI. To fully capture it, we have to make hard choices. So, we conducted a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure our people and roles aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we are dropping reflect the results of that review They cut across alphabets, product areas, functions, levels and regions.”

US Alphabet will pay employees a minimum of 60 days during full notice and offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks of pay and two weeks for each additional year at Google, plus a 2022 bonus and remaining vacation time. Laid-off workers will also be offered six months of health care, job placement services and immigration assistance for those affected.

Outside the United States, Alphabet will support employees in accordance with local practices.

“As a nearly 25-year-old company, we are bound to go through tough economic cycles. These are critical moments to sharpen our focus, re-engineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.

Constraints in some cases allow us to make bigger bets over others. Making the company AI-first a few years ago has led to breakthroughs in our business and across the industry.

Thanks to that early investment, Google’s products are better than ever. And we’re getting ready to share some completely new experiences for users, developers, and businesses. There is a significant opportunity ahead of us with AI across our products and we are ready to approach it boldly and responsibly.

All of 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 that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. This is why I am optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our hardest days. Today is definitely one of them,” added Pichai.

The layoffs are part of a broader slowdown in the global technology industry. In 2022, Facebook parent Meta plans to lay off 11,000 workers.

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