Photo Credit: Abir Sultan / Flash 90
Google Israel page. Nov. 11, 2009

Google employees in Israel are still in limbo, wondering who will get the axe and who will not, following an announcement by the internet giant this weekend that 12,000 of its personnel – six percent of the company’s workforce – will be laid off.

Google Announces 12,000 Layoffs

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Google Israel employs about 10,000 people, according to Payscale.com. The average monthly salary for a software engineer at the company’s Tel Aviv headquarters is about NIS 37,500 ($11,000), according to the Glassdoor compensation watchdog.

“A process will begin in which it will be decided what layoffs will be carried out, in accordance with assessment score and function,” an email message to employees said Friday.

But some of those who received layoff notices on Friday were employees who had previously receive high performance reviews or held managerial positions with annual compensation packages totaling $500,000 to $1 million, according to The Information news outlet.

Engineers and others have been laid off thus far from units like Google Cloud, Chrome, Android and the company’s search product; earlier cuts were made when the company’s “Geo” unit underwent streamlining that affected the Google Maps, Google Earth and Street View teams.

The recently acquired Israeli Waze navigation app was also included in that streamlining effort.

Waze CEO Neha Parikh left Google in December, possibly as part of the reorganization – or maybe because Parikh saw the writing on the wall.

In its email, management told Google employees that its plans to make the layoff process as brief as possible. “Please try to support one another,” the email said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.