Google to lay off roughly 6 percent of its workforce

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Google has joined the ranks of other tech giants cutting jobs by the thousands. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, first announced the news in an email to Google employees, which was later confirmed in a Google blog post on Friday, January 20.

The company is cutting around 12,000 jobs, which comprise about 6% of its workforce. In his post, Pichai cited the reason for the layoffs – “Over the past two years, we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”

This timeframe aligns with the COVID-19 pandemic, which profoundly affected the global economy. Pichai’s tone in the post is quite empathetic as he bears the weight of these mass layoffs in the statement, “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.”

In direct contrast to other recent large-scale layoffs, Google is offering substantial support for those who are losing their jobs. This includes paying employees for the entire notification period of 60 days, generous severance packages of 16 weeks’ salary and two more weeks for every year with Google, and accelerating at least 16 weeks of Google Stock Unit vesting.

Those facing job cuts will receive their 2022 bonuses and any paid vacation time owed. Google is also providing six months of job placement services, healthcare, and immigration support for those who need it. This assistance applies outside the United States, as Google has pledged to support these employees per “local practices.”

Amazon and Microsoft are the other tech giants to have recently announced significant workforce reductions.

On January 4, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced that the e-commerce titan planned to lay off more than 18,000 employees. 10,000 Amazon jobs have already been cut, and the subsequent 8,000 layoffs began on January 18.

January 18 also marked Microsoft announcing it would be laying off 10,000 employees. This is approximately 5% of its workforce. Some job cuts were made that very day.

One can only hope that these companies will follow in Google’s footsteps and show similar generosity to the employees to be affected.

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