Google Set to Retrench 12,000 Employees; CEO Sundar Pichai Writes to All Staff

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has informed all company employees that 12,000 staff will be let go, effective immediately in the United States. The announcement to lay off staff came on Friday, and the 12,000 employees to go in the US represent 6.4% of the company’s entire workforce.

Many of the employees to leave Google are managers who got high-performance ratings and received between $500,000 and $1 million in annual compensation packages. Most of the affected employees worked in Google Cloud, Chrome, Android, and even search across the organization. Just last week, Microsoft announced it is laying off 10,000 employees while Amazon initiated a process to fire 18,000 company staff.

Twitter also laid off more than 10,000 employees after Elon Musk acquired the social media platform. Industry analysts said tech companies in the United States have been retrenching workers since early last year out of fear of potential recession and other company indices. Although the retrenchment is starting in the US, Pichai said it will spread to other countries gradually and will be carried out in line with local laws and regulations.

“We’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles,” Pichai announced in a company-wide email to employees. “This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. 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.”

While revealing that the company roles to be eliminated “cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels, and regions,” Pichai said the value of the company’s products and services as well as early investments in artificial intelligence have worked out to make Google stronger with dramatic growths to show for it. He promised that the employees that have been laid off will be well taken-care of in terms of payment and transitions to other jobs.

“We’ll pay employees during the full notification period (minimum of 60 days),” Pichai stated. “We’ll also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting. We’ll pay 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time. We’ll be offering 6 months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected.”

Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, Pichai said Google has grown in leaps and bounds to meet the web-search and video-sharing needs of millions of people around the world. He said that with the recent layoff, the company remains committed to sharpening its focus, re-engineering its cost base, and directing its talents and capital to its highest priorities.

Pichai stated that a town hall meeting will be held on Monday to answer the questions of employees over the recent development in the company.