Google lays off 12,000 employees as the tech industry tightens its belt

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A painful week for tech industry employees unleashed even more hurt on Friday. This morning, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company is laying off 12,000 employees, roughly six percent of Google’s total headcount. Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts and Amazon announced 18,000 job cuts on Wednesday.

“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth,” Pichai wrote. “To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.” He went on to beat his chest about Google’s prowess in AI, the hottest tech buzzword of 2023.

Affected U.S. employees will receive 60 days of payment, “a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google,” six months of healthcare and career/immigration support, and be paid for 2022 bonuses and vacation time. Non-U.S. employees will be treated “in line with local practices.”

The scale of the layoffs and the tone of the memo largely echo Microsoft’s moves from earlier in the week, right down to paying homage to AI. Expect the pain to continue as tech stocks continue to get battered amidst recession and the PC industry suffers its worse decline ever. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft alone laid off 40,000 workers this week, following other significant layoffs at Facebook (Meta), Twitter, Cisco, and others.

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