Google has announced that the company will layoff 12,000 employees globally. Google workers in the US who are affected have already received an email, while impacted staff elsewhere will be informed soon. In a letter to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company took a “rigorous review across product areas” to ensure that current roles are aligned with the company’s highest priorities. It remains unclear which department is most affected by the latest round of mass layoffs.
The letter by Pichai also highlights that the company will ensure a smooth “transition” for the impacted workers. Google will pay employees during the full notification period (minimum 60 days). It says that it would offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks’ salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google. Entitled workers will also receive bonuses and healthcare benefits as per their contracts. On the other hand, Google workers outside the US will receive a severance package as per their contracts and local guidelines.
Pichai adds that Google will organise a town hall with employees on Monday. His letter reads, “As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.”
Although the news about mass layoffs is unfortunate, the development is not entirely surprising. In Mid-2022, Google paused hiring and Pichai even indicated that workers are not working hard and they should not equate fun with money. Pichai had said, “We don’t get to choose the macroeconomic conditions always”.
While the Google CEO has said that impacted workers will receive bonuses, a new report suggests that Google has delayed paying year-end bonus checks for employees this year. This is quite unusual for Google employees, as the company usually rolls out a complete bonus in January every year.
On the other hand, a report claimed that the company board approved a new equity award for CEO Sundar Pichai that ties more of his pay to performance.
Google’s announcement comes days after Microsoft laid off 10,000 workers. Other tech giants such as Meta and Twitter have also fired thousands of workers owing to the weakening of the global economy.
Twitter, since Elon Musk’s takeover last year, has trimmed half of its workforce. The company currently has roughly 2,000 staff. The social media giant fired more workers earlier this week. Some other American tech giants that laid off workers to cut expenses include HP, Adobe, and Salesforce. On the other hand, several Indian tech firms such as Swiggy, Dunzo, and more have laid off hundreds of workers.
Google, like several other tech companies, has said that it overhired during the peak COVID-19 pandemic when the world was forced to work from home. As a result, users spent more time online, and tech companies anticipated growth post-pandemic as well. However, following the Russia-Ukraine war and several other macroeconomic conditions, tech giants started facing the heat.
Google or other tech giants may fire more employees later if the situation doesn’t improve.