Google has laid off 6% of its global workforce

Google here really believes that AI can replace human employees. Is it the right time?

Googleplex in Mountain View, California, USA. Courtesy of Google, Inc.

After Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft laid off their employees, Google is also joining the bandwagon. The company has announced that it had laid off about 12,000 employees, or about 6% of their global workforce.

In comparison, Amazon has cut off 18,000 (6%) employees of their jobs, 10,000 (5%) for Microsoft, and 11,000 (13%) for Meta. With that being said, Google’s loss is not proportionally larger than the rest of the big three, but that is still a massive amount. That’s about 50,000 people who lost their jobs in a single sweep.

The United States’ biggest tech companies foresaw an economic downturn this year and in 2024, and because of that, had to start downsizing to reduce cost and reduce salary pay without affecting individual employees. This massive layoff is just preparation for what’s worse to come.

Sundar Pichai, current CEO of Google, mentioned in his blog post that the layoffs are done for the purpose of company restructuring. He also mentioned that the company would put a higher emphasis and importance to artifical intelligence moving forward. Remaining employees should focus even more and work even harder with a great sense of urgency.

“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,” said Pichai. “To fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices.”

While Google has developed and nurtured AI-based programs over the years, such as with DeepMind, the company is currently facing a harsh competition. Specifically, with OpenAI, known for its AI programs uploaded to the web like ChatGPT and Dall-E. The company has also partnered with Microsoft which made the competition even stiffer for Google.

Despite accumulating a nice total of USD 69 million in revenue, the company’s overall profits shrunk to USD 13.9 billion. And with the economic downturn the big tech companies have forecasted, we’re expecting that results this year and next year would worsen.

Source: GSMArena, The Verge