To reduce expenses amidst global economic challenges, Google has initiated a new round of layoffs, affecting hundreds of employees in various departments. This move impacts staff in the engineering division, the hardware division responsible for products like Fitbit and the Pixel phone, and the team working on Google Virtual Assistant.
These layoffs are part of a broader trend in the tech industry, following significant workforce reductions at major companies, including Google, Meta, and Amazon last year. Only ten days into the new year, more companies are joining this trend of announcing job cuts. Amazon has recently laid off hundreds of employees from its MGM studios, Prime Video, and Twitch streaming service.
Widespread Impact in the Tech Industry
The tech industry is witnessing widespread layoffs, with companies like Xerox and Unity Software announcing significant workforce reductions. Xerox plans to cut 15% of its 23,000 employees, while Unity Software intends to slash 1,800 positions, amounting to 25% of its workforce.
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, has been steering the company to focus more narrowly and cut costs since July 2022 in response to the deteriorating global economic situation. The biggest layoff in Google’s history occurred in January 2023, with the company letting go of 12,000 employees, representing 6% of its workforce. The ongoing layoffs, which include the most recent ones reported on Wednesday, are described by Google as part of regular business reorganizations. As of September 30, Google had 182,000 employees.
The Google worker union expressed its dissatisfaction on Twitter, criticizing the company for terminating employees while continuing to generate substantial quarterly profits. The union emphasized its commitment to fighting for job security, underscoring the tension between corporate cost-cutting measures and employee welfare in the tech industry.