Alphabet, parent holding company of Google, has announced that it’s cutting around 6% of its global workforce.
In an open letter published by Google, CEO Sundar Pichai followed a similar narrative to other companies that have downsized in recent months, noting that the company had “hired for a different economic reality” than what it’s up against today. Put simply, they’d bolstered their workforce during the pandemic-driven digital boom times, but is now having to reverse course as the world curtails its spending in the face of economic headwinds.
“We’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company,” Pichai wrote, adding that the layoffs will impact units across Alphabet, not just Google, and that all regions and product areas will be affected.
The news means that four out of the five so-called “big tech” firms have now announced significant redundancies in the past few months, with Apple the only one of the big-five U.S. tech giant not to announce layoffs as of yet.
Indeed, earlier this week, Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, affecting nearly 5% of its workforce, which followed Amazon’s move to cut 18,000 jobs, or 1.2% of its global headcount. Facebook’s parent Meta, meanwhile, revealed 11,000 layoffs back in November, hitting 13% of its workforce.
It’s worth noting that Alphabet hasn’t been impervious to downsizing before now. Its robot software offshoot Intrinsic announced it was laying off 40 workers last week, or 20% of its headcount, while its life sciences subsidiary Verily scaled back by 15% cut, representing around 240 people. But today’s announcement will see roughly 12,000 roles worldwide at the company disappear.
This is a developing story, refresh for updates