Google on Friday became the latest technology leader to announce massive layoffs, one day after a similar announcement by Microsoft saying it would trim its global staff by 10,000 employees.
CEO Sundar Pichai, head of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced the cuts in an email sent to staff and posted on the company’s website, saying reductions would be made “across departments, functions, levels of responsibility and regions.
“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,” Pichai wrote.
The internet giant said it will lay off 12,000 of its employees, comprising some six percent of its workforce, in the struggle to contend with a rising global recession.
“We’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company,” Pichai said. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review.”
The majority of the “Area 120” team was the worst affected by the layoffs, with the majority of its staff “winded down,” according to the memo. Area 120, created in March 2016, was intended to create experimental apps and services that would later be folded into established profit drivers, among them the HTML5 gaming platform, GameSnacks, AdLingo, Tangi and Shoploop.
“Employees in the U.S. who were affected have been notified [of layoffs at Area 120], but in other countries this process will take longer, and is subject to local laws and practices,” a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Our managing partner of Area 120 remains at the company.”
The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Google employees, said Pichai, “weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.”
He announced severance packages for Google workers in the United States that include 16 weeks of salary, their 2022 bonus, paid vacations, and six months of health coverage.