Google Parent Company Alphabet Laid Off 12,000 Workers in Latest Cuts to Hit Tech Industry – GeekWire

Google Parent Company Alphabet Laid Off 12,000 Workers in Latest Cuts to Hit Tech Industry – GeekWire

A Google office building on South Lake Union in Seattle. (GeekWire File Photo/Kurt Schlosser)

Google parent Alphabet is laying off 12,000 workers, or about 6% of its global workforce, as it becomes the latest tech company to cut back amid fears of an economic slowdown.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced the news in an email to employees on Friday (in full below).

“Over the past two years we have seen periods of spectacular growth,” Pichai wrote. “To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than what we face today.”

Pichai said the tech giant has undertaken a “rigorous review across all product areas and functions” and that the roles to be removed “span Alphabet, product areas, functions, tiers and regions.”

The Associated Press reported that Alphabet’s workforce increased during the pandemic to nearly 187,000 people at the end of last year from 119,000 at the end of 2019.

Two of the completed buildings at Google’s urban Kirkland campus in Kirkland, Washington, in April 2022. (File photo GeekWire/Kurt Schlosser)

Silicon Valley-based Google first set up shop in the Seattle region more than 15 years ago. The company now operates sprawling campuses in the South Lake Union and Fremont neighborhoods of Seattle and in Kirkland, Washington. Last spring, during a GeekWire tour of Google’s new offices in Kirkland, the company said it employed more than 7,200 workers in the region.

GeekWire has reached out to Alphabet to discuss how the layoffs will affect workers in the Seattle area. We will update this story when we hear back.

The move to cut jobs comes during a particularly heavy week for layoffs in the technology sector.

Microsoft announced Wednesday that it would cut 10,000 jobs between now and the end of March, representing about 5% of the company’s workforce of more than 220,000 employees. At least 878 of those layoffs are at Microsoft offices in Redmond, Bellevue and Issaquah, Washington.

Amazon is laying off 18,000 corporate and technology workers, including at least 2,300 in the Seattle region.

Full email to Google employees from Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai:


I have some difficult news to share. We have decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 positions. We have already sent a separate email to employees in the US who are affected. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices.

This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to recruit and loved working with. I am deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will affect the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.

In the last two years we have seen periods of spectacular growth. To match and fuel that growth, we contracted for a different economic reality than the one we face today.

I am confident that we have a great 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 will have to make difficult decisions. Therefore, we have conducted a rigorous review across all product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our top priorities as a company. The roles we are removing reflect the outcome of that review. They span Alphabet, product areas, functions, tiers, and regions.

To the departing Google employees: Thank you for working so hard to help people and businesses around the world. Their contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful for them.

While this transition will not be easy, we will support employees as they search for their next opportunity.

In the USA:

  • We will pay employees for the full notice period (minimum 60 days).
  • We will also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for each additional year at Google, and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU acquisition.
  • We will pay 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time.
  • We will be offering 6 months of medical care, job placement services and immigration support for those affected.
  • Outside the US, we will support employees in accordance with local practices.

As a company of almost 25 years, we are bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important times to sharpen our focus, reshape our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.

Being limited in some areas allows us to bet big in others. Pivoting the enterprise to be AI for the first time years ago led to innovative breakthroughs in our businesses and across the industry.

Thanks to those early investments, Google products are better than ever. And we’re getting ready to share some brand new experiences for users, developers, and businesses too. We have a great opportunity in front of us with AI in all of our products and we are prepared to tackle it boldly and responsibly.

All of this work is a continuation of the “healthy contempt for the impossible” that has been at the core of our culture from the beginning. When I look around Google today, I see that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That’s why I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days. Today is undoubtedly one of them.

I’m sure you have a lot of questions about how we’re going to move forward. We will be hosting a town hall on Monday. Check your calendar for more details. Until then, take good care of yourselves as you absorb this difficult news. As part of that, if you’re just starting your work day, feel free to work from home today.


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