Sundar Pichai’s e-mail to staff as Google announces 12,000 layoffs: READ FULL TEXT

He took full responsibility for the decision and cited the need for reengineering costs to invest more funds towards priority segments.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, January 20, 2023, 05:22 PM IST
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Google CEO Sundar Pichai | File Photo

Tech layoffs have already affected more than two lakh people across the globe, leaving Amazon employees in tears and affecting H1B visa holders left with limited time to look for new jobs. After resorting to a hiring freeze for months, big tech firm Microsoft finally decided to 10,000 people, and now it has been joined by another major firm. Google's parent firm Alphabet has announced that it will be slashing its global workforce by 12,000, and the decision was communicated to employees by CEO Sundar Pichai's email.

He took full responsibility for the decision and cited the need for reengineering costs to invest more funds towards priority segments as a reason behind the layoff. He also hinted at diverting more investment towards opportunities in Artificial Intelligence.

Sundar Pichai sent the following email to Google employees earlier today.

Googlers,

I have some difficult news to share. We’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles. We’ve already sent a separate email to employees in the US who are affected. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices.

This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I’m deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.

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.

I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. To fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices. So, 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. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.

To the Googlers who are leaving us: Thank you for working so hard to help people and businesses everywhere. Your contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful for them.

While this transition won’t be easy, we’re going to support employees as they look for their next opportunity.

In the US:

We’ll pay employees during the full notification period (minimum 60 days).

We’ll also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting.

We’ll pay 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time.

We’ll be offering 6 months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected.

Outside the US, we’ll support employees in line with local practices.

As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.

Being constrained in some areas allows us to bet big on others. Pivoting the company to be AI-first years ago led to groundbreaking advances across our businesses and the whole industry.

Thanks to those early investments, Google’s products are better than ever. And we’re getting ready to share some entirely new experiences for users, developers and businesses, too. We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.

All this work is a continuation of the “healthy disregard for the impossible” that’s been core to our culture from the beginning. When I look around Google today, I see that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That’s why I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days. Today is certainly one of them.

I’m sure you have many questions about how we’ll move forward. We’ll be organizing a town hall on Monday. Check your calendar for details. Until then, please take good care of yourselves as you absorb this difficult news. As part of that, if you are just starting your work day, please feel free to work from home today.

Dipping revenues and profits force Pichai's hand

The announcement comes after Google's revenues and profits failed to meet expectations set by analysts in October. The profits crashed by 27 per cent for the quarter in FY23, as compared to the same period in FY22. Alphabet CFO has also mentioned that new jobs will be down by 50 per cent in the fourth quarter of the financial year.

Investors schooled CEO?

Pressure from investors to cut costs also led to the layoffs, as TCI Fund Management had written to Alphabet, mentioning that the company has too many employees and is spending too much on each of them. It added that the firm's headcount had surged by 20 per cent since 2017, and also recommended share buybacks to increase profit margins.

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