Google has announced that it will cut approximately 12,000 jobs in response to the global economic situation.
According to Bloomberg (opens in a new tab) (paywall), Google SEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to employees on Friday to notify them of the upcoming layoffs, which will account for about 6% of the company’s total workforce.
This follows earlier this month when Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced cuts to Verily and Intrinsic, their health and robotic software divisions, respectively.
Pichai stated in an email that the reason for the layoffs was “sharpening our focus, redesigning our cost base, and directing our talent and capital to our highest priorities.”
Among those priorities is the company’s focus on AI, perhaps in response to the chatGPT Open AI hype being backed by Microsoft’s rivals.
Pichai added that “I am confident in the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead due to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI,” possibly referring to the company’s 2014 acquisition of DeepMind AI.
However, he added that in order to “fully capture this, we’re going to have to make some tough choices.”
Google’s fourth-quarter revenue increased last year from $65.1 billion to $69 billion last year, but profit fell from $18.0 billion to $13.9 billion. Pichai also mentioned last year that employment would slow down.
The phenomenon of big tech layoffs seems to have been started by Twitter, after Elon Musk acquired the company last October and quickly laid off half of its employees (opens in a new tab).
They were followed by Microsoft with 10,000 recently announced layoffs, Amazon with 18,000 and The goal of 11,000 (opens in a new tab). Sophos and Intel also recently announced massive layoffs as part of cost cuts.