Alphabet’s Google is the latest tech company to lay off employees as the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic boom fades. The company is cutting 12,000 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce. In an email that was also posted on the company’s news blog, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the parent company of Google, informed employees of the layoffs.
It’s one of the biggest rounds of layoffs the company has ever had, and it joins the tens of thousands of other job-cuts that Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook’s parent company Meta, and other tech companies have announced as they tighten their belts amid a bleaker outlook for the industry. Major players in the industry have announced at least 48,000 layoffs as of this month.
Sundar Pichai wrote that they have experienced periods of significant growth over the past two years. We hired for a different economic scenario than the one we currently face in order to match and fuel that growth. Sundar Pichai expressed his deep regret for the layoffs, which affected Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels, and regions.
Google’s workforce expanded during the pandemic, from 119,000 at the end of 2019 to nearly 187,000 by the end of last year, according to regulatory filings.
Mr. Pichai stated that Google, which was established nearly 25 years ago, was bound to experience challenging economic cycles. He wrote that these are crucial times to hone our focus, restructure our cost base, and direct our talent and capital toward our highest priorities. The letter from Mr. Pichai states that there will be layoffs in the United States and other unidentified nations.