Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOG 2.32% said it plans to cut about 12,000 jobs, reduce its workforce by 6% and mark the company’s biggest round of layoffs yet as it copes with a clouded economic outlook .
The cuts will extend across all of Alphabet’s units and regions, the company said, although some areas, including recruiting and projects outside of the company’s core businesses, would be more affected.
The cuts follow a wave of layoffs at other tech companies in recent months, including Microsoft Corp. MSFT -1.65%, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -1.86% and Meta Platforms Inc.
These cuts were part of a broader swing to protect profits and cement the end of an era of no-cost growth in technology. Google executives have announced in recent months that the company would be tightening its belt, reflecting a new phase of more disciplined and efficient spending. But the company hadn’t announced cuts as deep as those of its Silicon Valley peers.
“In the last two years we have experienced periods of dramatic growth. To accommodate and drive that growth, we have hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” Alphabet chief executive Sundar Pichai wrote in a message to employees sent on Friday was read by the Wall Street Journal.
Alphabet shares are up 3.2% in premarket trading on Friday.
Recent headlines about tech layoffs seem at odds with broader economic indicators, which are showing a strong labor market and historically low unemployment rates. WSJ’s Gunjan Banerji explains the split. Picture: Ali Larkin
Alphabet announced earlier this month that it would cut more than 200 jobs at its healthcare business, Verily Life Sciences, which accounts for about 15% of the unit’s jobs. Some of the last major cuts Google announced before that were in 2009, when the company said it would cut the number of jobs in its sales and marketing teams worldwide by about 200.
Friday’s cuts at Google parent company come just days after Microsoft announced it would cut 10,000 jobs in response to a global economic slowdown. Earlier this month, Amazon said its round of layoffs would affect 18,000 jobs. Layoffs.fyi, which tracks media reports and company announcements, estimates that employers in the technology sector cut almost 195,000 jobs collectively last year, before Alphabet’s cuts were factored in.
As job cuts have piled up in the tech industry, many Google employees have alerted executives to the possibility of layoffs at the company. At a company-wide meeting in December, Mr Pichai told employees that the company has been trying to “streamline where we can so we can better weather the storm, regardless of what lies ahead.”
A Google spokesman said Friday’s cuts would affect not just Google but other Alphabet subsidiaries, but didn’t specify at what level. Alphabet subsidiaries include Verily and the self-driving car unit Waymo. The spokesman did not comment on which specific products or technical units would be affected.
Alphabet said it would offer US-based employees two months’ notice plus 16 weeks’ severance pay, along with an additional two weeks for each year an employee at the nearly 25-year-old company worked there. In other countries, the company follows local processes and laws that sometimes require consultation with employee representatives before dismissing employees.
The company will also provide former employees with access to resources to help them with their immigration status, job placement and mental health, the spokesman said. Tech companies in the US often have employees on work visas who are tied to their employment.
Write to Sam Schechner at [email protected]
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