Google has announced that it will be cutting around 12,000 jobs, in reaction to global economic circumstances.
According to Bloomberg (opens in new tab) (paywall), Google SEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to staff on Friday to notify them of the incoming redundancies, which will account for around 6% of the company’s entire staff.
It follows from earlier this month, when Alphabet, the parent company to Google, announced cuts to Verily and Intrinsic, their health and robotic software divisions respectively.
Pichai stated in the email that the reason for the lay-offs was to “sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.”
Among those priorities is the company’s focus on AI, perhaps in response to the hype around Open AI’s ChatGPT, which is backed by rivals Microsoft.
Pichai added that “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,” likely referring to the company’s 2014 takeover of the DeepMind AI.
But he added that, in order to “fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices.”
Google’s Q4 revenue grew last year of over the previous year’s, from $65.1bn to $69bn, but profit was down from $18.bn to $13.9bn. Pichai also mentioned last year that hiring would be slowing down.
The big tech lay-off phenomenon seemed to be sparked by Twitter, after Elon Musk acquired the company last October and promptly laid off about half of its employees (opens in new tab).
Following suit were Microsoft with a recently announced 10,000 layoffs, Amazon with 18,000 and Meta with 11,000 (opens in new tab). Sophos and Intel have both also recently announced mass layoffs in cost-cutting moves.