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Google axes 12,000 jobs


“We hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees.

Google has announced it would cut 12,000 job roles, or about 6% of its workforce, as tech sector layoffs spurred by the pandemic overhiring and a strategic shift toward AI continue.

The announcement comes in the same week Microsoft made its plans to cut 10,000 jobs public, and Amazon started notifying employees of its own 18,000-people cuts.

“I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here,” Google CEO Pichai said in a note informing staff of “tough choices.”

Pichai said the company experienced “periods of dramatic growth” over the past two years but faced a different economic reality today. He said reductions would allow Google to “fully capture” future opportunities.

“Being constrained in some areas allows us to bet big on others,” Pichai said, adding that AI was “a substantial opportunity in front of us.”

Earlier this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also said AI would underpin the next wave of computing and companies needed to prepare for that to remain consequential in an industry “that is unforgiving to anyone who doesn’t adapt to platform shifts.”

In a sign of shifting priorities in the tech industry, Microsoft said it was considering investing $10 billion into OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT. Meanwhile, Google moved quickly to close its cloud-based games service Stadia after it failed to gain traction.

Google said it has already started notifying laid-off staff in the US, while the process in other countries would take longer due to different laws and practices. Job cuts would affect divisions across Alphabet, its parent company.

Some analysts warn that mass layoffs could pose a cybersecurity risk. Others note that it’s not all bad news for tech workers, pointing at continued growth by smaller tech companies and demand for tech positions in other industries.


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