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Workforce Reduction Has Shocked Many Longtime Google Employees

Matthew Irizarry | Writer

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, sent an email to Google employees on Jan. 20, 2023, informing them that their workforce would be reduced by 12,000 positions.

Google experienced rapid growth in the last two years and hired a large number of people to keep up.

“We hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” Pichai said in his company-wide email.

A number of employees expressed frustrations at the “impersonal” way the message was given despite many having years of service under their belt.

“I feel it could have been handled better, but due to the scale I understand why,” said a project manager who wishes to remain anonymous. “I don’t agree with most of those meatheads who haven’t been there that long.”

Among the turmoil, some employees have expressed their frustration with Google’s actions in a different way. Around 250 employees of Google’s Zurich office staged a walkout to protest the company’s decision. The employees were supported by their trade union Syndicom and similar protests were staged in New York and California over the job cuts.

The layoffs and reasons for them encompass more companies than just Google and have affected multiple tech companies in 2023 including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Dell. The main reason for layoffs was to compensate for the over-hiring that happened during Covid-19, when these companies were buoyed by record revenues.


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