Google announces that it will lay off 12,000 employees. A decision that comes after those of Microsoft, Meta or Amazon and shows once again that the tech sector is going through a very difficult period.
CEO Sundar Pichai announced the news via an email sent to the Mountain View giant’s teams. Google will lay off 12,000 people. The boss of the Alphabet subsidiary has also published an article on the company’s official blog. “A difficult decision to prepare us for the future“, we read as a title.
“As a nearly 25-year-old company, we are bound to weather tough economic cycles. These are important times to refocus our attention, reorganize our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.writes Sundar Pichai. The manager explains that he sent his email as a priority to the people concerned in the United States, while the process will take longer in the other affected countries where the legislation is often very different for better job protection.
This means saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people that we have struggled to hire and enjoyed working with. I am deeply sorry about that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.
The crisis after two incredible years
Sundar Pichai’s speech echoes that of Mark Zuckerberg who announced, in November, 11,000 layoffs at Meta. Indeed, the explanations put forward are similar. “Over the past two years, we have experienced periods of spectacular growth. To support and fuel this growth, we hired for an economic reality different from the one we know today.»
In other words, in 2020, the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 was marked by a strong demand for tech products and services which boosted the activities of the giants of the sector for about two consecutive years. However, this incredible boom in e-commerce or online advertising has slowed down drastically recently, undermining the expected profitability of investments made during this period.
Recent news proves it. In addition to Google and Meta, let’s mention Microsoft, which will make 10,000 layoffs. Same story at Amazon, which is also parting with 10,000 employees. The tech sector is going through an employment crisis that should not be understated.
Google bets on AI
On the side of Google, like Microsoft, the management has great ambitions around AI to relaunch. Sundar Pichai thus prides himself on investments made very early on in artificial intelligence, which he presents today as a great opportunity “and we are ready to approach it boldly and responsibly“. The buzz generated by the ChatGPT language model undoubtedly encourages this kind of strategy.
As for those made redundant, Google promises them support and details the measures that will be taken in the United States: compensation of at least 16 weeks (plus two weeks per year of seniority), reimbursement of leave not taken, six months of in charge of health care and assistance to people whose dismissal could lead to expulsion.
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