Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said that the lay off process may take longer for employees in countries outside of the US due to local laws.
Google is the latest big tech company to announce that it is laying off staff. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google said in a memo published today (20 January) that the reduction would amount to “approximately 12,000” roles.
Pichai said the decision “will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with”.
“I’m deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.”
Pichai said Google had already communicated the job losses with affected employees in the US, but he added that the process would take longer in other countries due to local laws.
He said that outside of the US, employees who are being laid off will be given support in line with these local practices.
Pichai acknowledged that staffers would have questions, and he concluded his memo by informing staff of a town hall meeting taking place in the coming days.
“Until then, please take good care of yourselves as you absorb this difficult news,” he said. “As part of that, if you are just starting your work day, please feel free to work from home today.”
He blamed the market fluctuation in recent months, adding that “we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today”.
“As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, re-engineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.”
Pichai tried to put a positive steer on Google’s future opportunities, particularly in AI.
“I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. To fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices.”
“So, 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. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions,” he added.
Reuters reported that the job cuts would affect teams across the board, in recruitment, engineering and product, and corporate functions.
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