Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) will lay off about 6% of its workforce, or 12,000 people, the latest Big Tech company to cut employees after a pandemic hiring spree.
- Alphabet will lay off around 12,000 people, or 6% of its global workforce, according to a company-wide memo on Jan. 20.
- The tech giant cited a shifting economy and too-rapid expansion during the pandemic as factors influencing the reduction.
- Alphabet is increasing its focus on artificial intelligence offerings as competition in the space ramps up.
- Other tech firms including Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta have recently announced similar layoff plans.
CEO Sundar Pichai said in a company-wide memo that Google expanded too rapidly in the early stages of the pandemic and that the firm now faces a "different economic reality." The tech giant's global workforce swelled to 187,000 as of September from about 150,000 a year prior.
Alphabet's largest round of cuts will affect all geographies and product areas. Pichai said they aim to redirect talent to priorities including artificial intelligence, amid mounting competition from up-and-coming rivals like OpenAI, maker of the popular ChatGPT chatbot.
Alphabet joins Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), which said earlier this week that it would eliminate up to 10,000 positions in the face of a potential profit decline. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Meta Platforms Inc. (META), and Salesforce Inc. (CRM) have also said they would reduce staff in recent weeks. All told, tech firms have cut nearly 200,000 jobs since the beginning of 2022.
Alphabet's Class C shares were up about 4% in early-morning trading after the announcement.