As the most recent US IT behemoth to implement significant restructuring, Google's parent company Alphabet stated Friday that it will eliminate around 12,000 jobs globally. It cited a changing economic reality in its announcement.
The layoffs come a day after Microsoft announced it will lose 10,000 jobs in the next months. Microsoft's announcement followed similar ones made by Facebook owner Meta, Amazon, and Twitter, as well as by Twitter and Amazon.com.
The layoffs come after a significant hiring frenzy at the height of the coronavirus outbreak, when businesses scurried to keep up with demand as more people turned to the internet for work, school, and pleasure.
"Over the last two years, there have been times of really rapid growth. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, wrote in an email to workers, "To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face now.
According to Pichai, the staff would be downsized by about 12,000 employees. "We've undergone a rigorous evaluation across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company," he added.
The positions we're removing are a result of that review,
At the end of September 2022, Alphabet had almost 187,000 employees worldwide. The reductions equal just over 6% of the whole workforce.
Pichai claimed that while American workers had already been informed of the layoffs, other nations will take longer because of regional labor restrictions.
According to Pichai, the cuts will affect "departments, roles, levels of responsibility, and geographies."
"I take full responsibility for the choices that brought us here since it weighs deeply on me that these changes will have an impact on Googlers' lives."
Pichai stressed the need for more investment in artificial intelligence by saying that the cuts would "sharpen our focus" towards new goals.
Being limited in certain areas enables us to wager heavily in others, he claimed.
The rise of ChatGPT, a Microsoft-backed chatbot that can produce complex, human-like text in only seconds, has put pressure on Google's market-dominating search engine.
According to Microsoft, the technology will be employed to boost Bing, a stalwart Google search competitor.
Pichai provided termination benefits for US workers, including at least 16 weeks of pay, their bonus for 2022, paid time off, and six months of health insurance.
Even on our hardest days, he claimed, he was "optimistic about our capacity to complete our mission."
The cuts were well received by Wall Street as Alphabet shares increased by 3.5 percent in electronic trading prior to the start of the stock market.
This mirrored how layoffs affected other internet behemoths, with Meta's stock rising 35% since it announced 11,000 job cuts on November 9 and Amazon's stock rising 13% following the earlier this month's 18,000 layoffs.
According to analysts, the top names in tech had already overspent and did not anticipate a slowdown.
Wedbush Securities' Daniel Ives claimed that the layoffs show a protracted trend of reckless spending throughout a sector that is currently experiencing "hypergrowth."
The reality is that tech industry leaders overhired at an unsustainable rate, and now a darker macro is forcing layoffs throughout the tech industry, he claimed.
Without counting those revealed by Alphabet on Friday, approximately 194,000 industry workers have lost their employment in the US since the year 2022 began, according to the tech portal Layoffs.fyi.
Significant layoffs were also announced this month by Salesforce, a leader in cloud computing, and Hewlett Packard, whose growth has been hindered by runaway inflation and rising interest rates.