Internal memo from CEO Sundar Pichai warns Google staff to brace for more job cuts, as the firm has to “make tough choices”
The workforce at Alphabet’s Google face a nervous year ahead, after a bleak warning about their jobs going forward.
The Verge reported on an internal memo sent to all Google staff from CEO Sundar Pichai, in which Pichai warned staff to expect more job losses as the firm “will be investing in our big priorities this year.”
The warning about possible job losses comes as Google has made thousands of redundancies in 2023 and carried out more tranches of job losses in early 2024.
According to the Verge report, Sundar Pichai said the recent layoffs are about “removing layers to simplify execution and drive velocity in some areas.”
“We have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year,” Pichai is quoted as telling all Google employees on Wednesday in an internal memo. “The reality is that to create the capacity for this investment, we have to make tough choices.”
“These role eliminations are not at the scale of last year’s reductions, and will not touch every team,” Pichai wrote in his memo. “But I know it’s very difficult to see colleagues and teams impacted.”
The Verge reported that Pichai said the layoffs this year were about “removing layers to simplify execution and drive velocity in some areas.”
The Alphabet and Google CEO then confirmed that more “role eliminations” are to come.
“Many of these changes are already announced, though to be upfront, some teams will continue to make specific resource allocation decisions throughout the year where needed, and some roles may be impacted,” he wrote.
A spokesperson for Google didn’t have additional comment, The Verge reported.
The Alphabet Workers Union has tweeted that Google had axed nearly 15,000 staff last year, and urged disgruntled ‘Googlers’ to join it with ‘live events’ and a remote Zoom call on Thursday and Friday.
We have lost nearly 15,000 coworkers to layoffs at Google over the past year.
If you’re a Googler against layoffs, RSVP to join us Thursday and Friday at locations in person and online, across the country.
— Alphabet Workers Union (AWU-CWA) (@AlphabetWorkers) January 18, 2024
Alphabet and Google have been busy trimming its workforce in the past 12 months.
In January 2023 Alphabet had announced that it would cut 12,000 jobs worldwide, or roughly 6 percent of its workforce.
It came after Google had warned in October 2022 that it would cut hiring by half during Q4 of 2022.
Google staff last year walked out in protest at the jobs cuts, and criticised the company for abruptly cutting off access to those who lost their jobs in the January 2023 redundancies.
In June 2023 it also emerged that Google was axing staff in its highly popular mapping service Waze, which it had acquired for $1.3 billion back in 2013.
In September 2023 it was reported that Google was cutting hundreds of jobs in its global recruiting team as part of a broader pullback in hiring over the next several quarters.
The job losses continued into the new year.
Last week for example Google confirmed it was laying off hundreds of employees across multiple teams.
In addition, Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman exited the search engine giant, amid ongoing cost cutting measures.
It was understood that hundreds at Google’s Voice Assistant unit were being let go, and a few hundred roles were also being eliminated in the hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest and Fitbit.
Hundreds of roles in the search giant’s central engineering team were also laid off.
In addition, the majority of people in the augmented reality (AR) team were let go, which reportedly pushed the total job losses last week above the 1,000 mark.
Then earlier this week Google confirmed that confirmed hundreds of job losses in 30,000 strong ad sales team.