The faltering global economy just forced yet another big tech company to reduce its workforce in order to keep financials in check. According to an internal memo (which was later shared in an official blog post), Google parent Alphabet, announced its intentions to eliminate 12,000 employees, which amounts to around 6% of its workforce across the globe.
The job cuts will not be limited to the US or a handful of countries and will affect Google employees worldwide, according to the memo on Friday. Teams across the company will be affected by the layoffs, including recruiting and some corporate functions, as well as some engineering and product teams. While employees in the US will be affected immediately, overseas workers have a small reprieve as the elimination process will take longer due to local laws and practices. CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in the internal memo that he takes “full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.” He added that the job cuts came after the company undertook a “rigorous review” across product areas, functions, levels, and regions, in order to ensure that “our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company.”
The sheer scale of mass layoffs puts Google on the same shelf as rival tech company Microsoft, social media giant Meta, e-commerce behemoth Amazon, and Twitter in trimming staff after years of abundant growth. Microsoft, earlier this week, announced its intentions to lay off 10,000 workers (which makes up 5% of its workforce), while Meta revealed that it would be trimming its workforce by 13%, therefore eliminating 11,000 employees. Amazon revealed its plans to fire a greater number of employees (18,000, which makes up 6% of its workforce), while Twitter saw a mass exodus of employees to mark the Musk era. And if reports are to be believed, the billionaire is looking to fire an additional 50 employees from the product team, which would take its workforce to below 2,000.
Earlier this month, Alphabet announced similar job cuts at a lesser degree at two of its subsidiaries – Verily and Intrinsic. The job cuts follow two years of unprecedented growth at Google, which saw the company (like many others) overextend its reach and hire an astounding number of employees. In fact, by the fag end of the previous year, the total workforce at Google rose to nearly 187,000 people, as compared to 119,000 at the end of 2019.
Thankfully, Google will not let its employees leave empty-handed. For its US-based employees, the company will pay them during the full notification period (a minimum of 60 days). A severance package will also be offered – starting at 16 weeks’ salary plus two weeks for every additional year of their service and accelerating at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting. Their remaining vacation time and bonuses for the previous year will be paid as well, while Google will also offer them 6 months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support. For its overseas employees, it will offer support that was in line with local laws and practices.