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Google will lay off 12,000 people, says a memo from CEO Sundar Pichai




Google said on Friday that it will lay off 12,000 people from its workforce, adding to the number of major US technology companies cutting jobs amid fears of a coming recession.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said in an email sent to the company̵[ads1]7;s employees on Friday that the firm will begin layoffs in the United States immediately. In other countries, the process “will take longer due to local laws and practices,” he said.

The online search and video sharing giant will offer US employees 16 weeks of severance pay plus two weeks for each additional year they have worked at Google, Pichai added.

Tech companies are facing a number of challenges at the moment, not the least of which is rising interest rates and inflation over the past year, which have hammered tech stocks and forced advertisers to cut back on online ad spending.

Interest rate increases from the US central bank in particular have led to a reduction in appetite for US technology stocks. The gloomy macroeconomic climate has once again put pressure on these companies to make deep cuts in the workforce.

On Wednesday, Amazon began a new wave of job cuts affecting over 18,000 people. On the same day, Microsoft announced plans to lay off 10,000 workers.

Twitter, led by Elon Musk, has also made layoffs, cutting more than half of the company’s workforce since taking over as CEO late last year.

The layoffs from Google Friday come after CNBC reported Wednesday that the firm was postponing some of its employees’ year-end bonus checks to March or April instead of January.

Read the full memo Pichai sent out to employees on Friday:

google,

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

This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we have worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I am deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will affect the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that got us here.

Over the past two years, we have seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel this growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.

I am confident in the tremendous opportunity ahead of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. To capture it fully, we must make difficult choices. So we’ve undertaken a thorough review across product areas and functions to ensure our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we are eliminating reflect the results of that review. They cross the 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 look for their next opportunity.

In the United States:

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

As a nearly 25-year-old company, we are bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, reconstruct our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.

Being limited in some areas means that we can invest heavily in others. Turning the company around to be AI-first years ago led to groundbreaking advances across our businesses and the entire industry.

Thanks to these early investments, Google’s products are better than ever. And we’re getting ready to share some brand new experiences for users, developers and businesses too. We have a significant opportunity ahead of us with artificial intelligence across our products and are prepared 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 from the beginning. When I look around Google today, I see that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That’s why I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days. Today is certainly one of them.

I’m sure you have many questions about how we should proceed. We are organizing a town hall on Monday. Check your calendar for details. Until then, please take care of yourselves as you absorb this difficult news. As part of that, if you’ve just started your work day, feel free to work from home today.

-Sundar



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