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Google Parent Alphabet to Lay Off 12,000 Workers

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has announced that it will terminate 12,000 jobs
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has announced that it will terminate 12,000 jobs. Credit: The Pancake of Heaven! / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, will axe twelve thousand jobs in the latest round of mass layoffs affecting the tech industry in recent months. Google is set to lose six percent of its workforce as a result.

The job losses will be felt by Google and Alphabet employees worldwide. The announcement follows similar moves of other tech giants that aimed to offload workers as the sector seemingly prepares for a slowdown.

Some analysts blame overspending by tech giants for the successive rounds of layoffs. Microsoft and Amazon have also made large numbers of staff redundant over the past few months.

Google and Alphabet layoffs

“I have some difficult news to share,” said Sundar Pichai, the CEO of both Google and Alphabet in an email that circulated to employees. “We’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles.”

According to the tech giant CEO, employees in the US have already been notified in the case that their positions have been terminated whereas workers in other countries will have to wait longer to confirm that their jobs are safe.

“This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with,” Pichai continued. “I’m deeply sorry for that.”

Pichai blamed the redundancies on changing economic circumstances and expressed the need to prioritize certain key products and investments.

“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,” he said. “The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review.”

According to the email, Google and Alphabet employees who are made redundant will receive a severance package “starting at [sixteen] weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, and accelerate at least [sixteen] weeks of GSU vesting.”

Tech downturn

Earlier in January of this year, Amazon also announced that it would cut eighteen thousand jobs. Meanwhile, Microsoft issued a statement this week that it would be cutting ten thousand positions. The Microsoft job cuts will reportedly affect its subsidiaries, such as Xbox and Bethesda, in the gaming industry.

According to Julia Pollak, the chief economist at ZipRecruiter, the tech industry’s sudden rush to shed employees can be explained in part by the US Federal Reserve causing interest rates to hike significantly.

The Financial Times reported in October 2022 that signs of weakening demand have begun to spread in the tech industry. The end of widespread lockdowns imposed on populations across the world may explain some of the declining demands.

Some analysts have assessed that bored consumers stuck in their homes were fueling higher demand during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that people are free to leave their homes, they are spending less on tech.

Apple is one of the few big tech companies so far that has not announced mass layoffs. As pointed out by some analysts, the difference between Apple and other tech companies is that Apple did not hire extensively during the pandemic period.

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