It’s safe to say it’s been a tough week for big tech firms and their employees. In the past few days, we’ve heard that Microsoft is cutting 10,000 positions and Amazon is also laying off 18,000 employees. Now, Google has also announced a major layoff.
In a Google blog post Copied verbatim from an email from CEO Sundar Pichai, the company has decided to cut its workforce by 12,000 people. This is about 6% of its total headcount. Termination emails have already been sent to affected US employees and will soon be sent to employees in other countries, delayed by local laws.
Pichai says he takes full responsibility for the difficult decision – hinted at last year – stressing that it will weigh heavily on him. The executive notes that:
Over the past two years we have seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel this growth, we have hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.
I am confident about the tremendous opportunity ahead of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investment in AI. To fully achieve this, we will need to make tough choices. Therefore, we have conducted a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we are eliminating reflect the results of this review. They cut across alphabets, product areas, functions, levels and regions.
To the Googlers who left us: Thanks for working so hard to help people and businesses everywhere. Your contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful.
Google says 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time will be paid in the US. Additionally, those affected will be paid for the full notice period (at least 60 days), along with a severance package starting at 16 weeks’ pay. Finally, six months of health care, immigration, and job placement support will be offered. Outside the US, however, any financial or other support will only be in accordance with local practices.
Despite the bad news, Pichai says Google’s AI-first approach has paid off and he looks forward to tackling future challenges through the company’s AI portfolio.
There will be a town hall meeting next Monday, and Pichai has encouraged employees to work from home today to “absorb this difficult news.”