To adapt to the current economic climate, Google has said it would be eliminating about 12,000 employees.
Google’s head of search engine optimization Sundar Pichai emailed the whole workforce on Friday to inform them of the impending layoffs, which are expected to affect around 6% of current employees.
This comes after Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced layoffs in its health and robotic software departments, Verily and Intrinsic, earlier this month.
The establishment of fresh top-level objectives
To “sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and target our talent and money to our greatest objectives,” Pichai said in the email explaining the rationale for the layoffs.
One of them is artificial intelligence (AI), potentially in reaction to Microsoft’s backing of Open AI’s ChatGPT.
Pichai went on to say, “I am optimistic about the big potential in front of us owing to the strength of our purpose, the value of our goods and services, and our early investments in AI,” most likely alluding to Google’s acquisition of DeepMind AI in 2014.
But he noted that “completely capture it, we’ll need to make unpleasant decisions.”
Q4 sales increased for Google from the prior year’s $65.1bn to last year’s $69bn, while profit decreased from $18.bn to $13.9bn. Pichai also predicted a decrease in recruiting activity last year.
Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in October 2015 and subsequent layoff of around half of the company’s workers is often seen as the catalyst for the widespread layoffs in the technology industry.
Microsoft announced 10,000 layoffs not too long after, followed by Amazon with18,000, and Meta with 11,000. Both Sophos and Intel have lately announced large-scale layoffs as part of their efforts to reduce expenses.
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