Tech setback

Google to cut 12,000 jobs in ‘new economic reality’

Google is the latest tech firm to announce cuts

Google’s parent firm Alphabet is cutting 12,000 jobs worldwide in the latest blow to the technology industry. 

The cuts represent about 6% of the group’s workforce and will affect “roles across product areas, functions, levels and regions”, according to Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s CEO. 

They follow large scale cutbacks announced at Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter. Each of them blames changing “economic reality” including changes in consumer behaviour following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Google parent company grew its workforce by more than 50,000 employees over the past two years on the back of a surge in demand for its services during the pandemic.

However, in recent quarters the company’s core digital ad business has slowed as the economic downturn and recession fears led advertisers to pull back on their spending.

Mr Pinchai said in an email to staff: “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.” He said he took “full responsibility” for the cuts.

“Outside the US, we’ll support employees in line with local practices,” he said. The company is said to employ about 5,500 staff in the UK.

He explained that the layoffs were part of an effort to refocus on the company’s core business, as well as its early investments in artificial intelligence.

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