Google's parent company Alphabet to cut 12,000 jobs

Google's parent company Alphabet is cutting 12,000 jobs, around 6% of its global workforce, according an internal memo from Sundar Pichai, Alphabet's CEO.

Pichai told employees in an email first reported by Bloomberg on Friday that he takes "full responsibility for the decisions that led us here" but the company has a "substantial opportunity in front of us" with its early investments in artificial intelligence.

The layoffs are global and will impact US staff immediately, news outlet Reuters also reported. They will affect teams across Alphabet, including recruiting and some corporate functions, as well as some engineering and products teams.

In the email, which has since been uploaded as a blog post, Pichai said the company will be paying affected employees at least 16 weeks of severance and six months of health benefits in the US, with other regions receiving packages based on local laws and practices.

When contacted for a statement, Google offered no further comment beyond the Pichai's email.

In October 2022, Alphabet posted lower-than-expected numbers for its third financial quarter, where it fell behind both revenue and profit expectations. However, while overall revenue growth slowed to 6% in the quarter for Alphabet, Google Cloud grew 38% year-on-year to $6.9 billion, giving the company much needed support.

A month later, news outlet The Information predicted that Google could be set to cut at least 10,000 jobs after changes to the company's Google Reviews and Development (GRAD) program saw managers having to allocate a low performer rating to at least 6% of employees, compared to 2% under the old performance review process.

At the time, some industry watchers speculated that the reported move to increase the number of employees ranked as low performers would end with these employees losing their jobs.

The news comes hot on the heels of several other announcements of large layoffs from tech companies, including 10,000 layoffs at Microsoft and 18,000 at Amazon.

According to Layoffs.fyi, the online tracker keeping tabs on job losses in the technology sector, in the first 20 days of 2023, 133 tech companies have laid off 38,815 employees across the globe.