After the hiring frenzy during the Covid-19 pandemic, the time for layoffs: Google is the latest American tech giant to announce a massive workforce reduction plan. Twelve thousand jobs will be cut, said Friday, January 20 the boss of its parent company Alphabet, Sundar Pichai. “Over the past two years, we have experienced periods of spectacular growth. To support and fuel this growth, we have hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today”writes the CEO who assures “to take full responsibility for the decisions that have brought us here”. A classic apology for those tech companies that grew excessively during the Covid-induced boom but are now being hit by the economic downturn.
Google, which is suffering from the fall in advertising, had increased its workforce by more than 15% each year on average from 2014 to 2021, to reach a workforce of 157,000 employees worldwide. The departure conditions are good for the American criteria: the employees will receive their 2022 bonus, two months of notice, at least four months of compensation, six months of health insurance and assistance for those who, when leaving the company , lose their US visa.
The world’s leading search engine follows the destiny of most tech giants: Microsoft, hit by the decline in business software investment, announced the loss of 10,000 jobs on Wednesday January 18 when it had reached 220,000 employees in June 2022. This is its first workforce reduction since 2014. Amazon, the distribution giant which had hired some 800,000 employees in 2020 and 2021 to meet the demand for e-commerce, is also laying off. The firm founded by Jeff Bezos has approximately 300,000 “corporate” employees (excluding distribution centers) out of a total of 1.6 million. “During Covid, our top priority was to adapt to meet the needs of our customers while ensuring the safety of our employees. I’m incredibly proud of the work of this team during this time.”, justified Doug Herrington, head of retail at Amazon in a memo cited by CNBC. The company will cut 18,000 jobs in its corporate workforce.
Is the worst over?
But it was at Meta-Facebook that the sabering was strongest, with 11,000 job cuts announced in November. After flippant behavior during a conference with financial analysts and announcing $23 billion in cumulative losses in the metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg had no choice.
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