LONDON – Google is laying off 12,000 workers, or about 6% of its workforce, becoming the latest tech company to cut staff amid the industry’s economic boom during the Covid-19 pandemic.
CEO Sundar Pichai informed the Silicon Valley giant of the layoffs in an email to employees on Friday posted on the company’s news blog.
With Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta and other tech companies tightening their belts in a bleak outlook for the industry, the prospect of a firing could add to tens of thousands of other job losses. Just this month, there have been at least 48,000 job cuts across the sector’s biggest companies.
“Over the past two years, we have seen periods of remarkable growth,” Pichai wrote. “To accommodate and fuel that growth, we employ a different economic reality than we face today.”
He said the layoffs reflect a “robust review” by Google.
The jobs being eliminated “are broken down by alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions,” Pichai said.
As of its regulatory filing late last year, the company employed about 187,000 people.
Google, founded a quarter-century ago, “will inevitably go through difficult economic cycles,” Pichai said.
“These are important times to sharpen our focus, renew our cost base, and direct our talent and capital toward our highest priorities,” he wrote.
According to Pachai’s letter, there will be job cuts in the US and other countries.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, or about 5% of its workforce. Amazon said it would cut 18,000 jobs, though that’s part of its 1.5 million-strong workforce. Facebook parent Meta is shedding 11,000 positions, or 13% of its workforce, while business software maker Salesforce is laying off 8,000 workers, or about 10% of its total. Twitter CEO Elon Musk has cut jobs at the company since he acquired it last fall.
U.S. employment remained strong despite signs of an economic slowdown, and another 223,000 jobs were added in December. However, the technology sector has grown at a different pace than in the past several years as employees began to work remotely.
The CEOs of many companies are responsible for growing too fast, but those same companies, even after recent job cuts, are much larger than they were before the pandemic began.