Google’s parent company to cut 12,000 jobs, ending period of rapid tech expansion

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(Central News Agency) Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, said on the 20th that it will lay off about 12,000 employees, accounting for 6% of the total workforce, becoming the latest technology giant to make drastic layoffs.

Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said the company has rapidly expanded its talent acquisition in recent years, “but the economic realities we face today are different than they have been in the past,” according to an employee memo obtained by Reuters.

“I take full responsibility for the decisions that led to this outcome,” he said, days after Alphabet rival Microsoft Corp said it would cut 10,000 jobs.

Alphabet layoffs spanned across the company, including recruiting and some corporate functions, as well as some engineering and product teams. The layoffs are global, with immediate impact on U.S. employees.

Alphabet has already emailed affected employees, a process that will take longer locally due to employment laws and practices in other countries, according to the memo.

“Because of the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our initial investments in artificial intelligence (AI), I am confident in the enormous opportunity that lies ahead,” Pichai said in the memo.

Record headcount, but challenged on all fronts

The layoffs are the largest ever for the company, with California-based Alphabet employing nearly 187,000 workers as of the end of September, up from 150,000 a year ago. According to a Reuters report, some analysts believe that the company’s record number of employees also poses a huge profit risk.

As for which departments were affected by the layoffs, the “New York Times” pointed out that the senior executives of each department sent letters to employees separately, which revealed that Google Research in the field of AI (artificial intelligence) will cut manpower in health care and other parts; cloud platform Google Cloud will reduce some positions that are not customer-facing, nor engineering and operational, but continue to recruit talents in development and customer-related positions; Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory “Moonshot Factory” will lay off strategy and business operations teams.

The Reuters report pointed out that Alphabet has been a leader in the field of AI, but has recently been challenged by Microsoft. Beyond that, Alphabet’s main source of revenue is advertising, but many businesses are now reducing their advertising budgets. Susannah Streeter, an analyst at the British financial company Hargreaves Lansdown, said that Alphabet is facing a strong competitor TikTok, Instagram is also robbing YouTube users, and Alphabet has accumulated billions of dollars in fines due to regulatory issues.

Companies such as Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Twitter, and Salesforce have previously announced thousands of layoffs. Data from “Layoffs.fyi” shows that since the beginning of 2022, technology companies have laid off more than 190,000 people in total. The New York Times reported that these phenomena represent the end of the period of rapid expansion of the technology industry, especially after Google was founded in 1998, it created a workplace culture for the technology industry and deeply influenced other Silicon Valley companies.

According to Reuters , with the layoffs of Alphabet, the four major technology companies in the United States have laid off more than 51,000 people (Alphabet, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft) in the past few months. Apple, which is cautious, has not yet revealed the problem of layoffs.

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