In an internal email, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stated that he accepts “full responsibility” for the layoffs. The layoffs would affect 6% of Alphabet’s global workforce, including areas such as recruitment and engineering. This comes just days after Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts and weeks after Amazon announced 18,000 layoffs.
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Alphabet announced the layoffs in an open letter to its employees, blaming the decision on the current economic downturn. The letter went on to say that previous hirings had not prepared it for the current economic situation. While the layoffs are global, Alphabet stated that they would immediately impact employees in the United States. At the same time, the process may take longer in other countries due to local employment rules and regulations. The company stated that it had already notified the affected employees through email.
Mr. Pichai commended employees for “working so hard” in their professions, adding that their “contributions have been invaluable”. “While this transition will not be easy,” he added, “we will support staff as they pursue their next opportunity. Please take care of yourself while you process this sad news till then. As part of that, if your workday has just begun, please feel free to work from home today.”
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Mr. Pichai announced severance packages for US employees, including at least 16 weeks of pay, their 2022 bonus, paid vacations, and six months of healthcare coverage. He said he remained “optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days”.
With Alphabet’s announcement, 4 of the world’s 5 biggest tech companies have now announced massive layoffs in recent months, with Apple the only one of the big 5 to do so. Microsoft announced 10,000 job layoffs earlier this week, affecting roughly 5% of its staff, following Amazon’s decision to reduce 18,000 employees, or 1.2% of its global headcount. In November of last year, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, announced 11,000 layoffs.