Google rings in 2024 with sweeping layoffs

Cuts are a continuation of late-2023 redundancies to help teams better 'align their resources'

The 2024 layoff season appears to have only begun, with Google cutting hundreds of employees across multiple divisions yesterday. 

News broke late Wednesday that Google employees were reportedly being erased from Google's core engineering group, the Google Assistant team and the devices and services team responsible for things like Pixel, Fitbit and Nest products. 

Google confirmed the layoffs to The Register, specifically citing reporting from Semafor and 9to5Google which cited redundancies in the divisions mentioned above. The only numbers that Google cited to us pertained to the central engineering team, which a spokesperson said was losing a few hundred employees. 

As for justifying the job cuts, Google told The Register this round is a continuation of those in the second half of 2023, when "a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, and to align their resources to their biggest product priorities." 

"Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally. We're continuing to support any impacted employees as they look for new roles here at Google and beyond," a Google spokesperson told us. 

Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman were reportedly caught up in this latest round, though we were unable to independently verify those reports. 

Google laid off tens of thousands of people last year, with a notable chop January when it clipped 12,000 employees. Cuts continued in several rounds throughout the year, which Google told us had to do with adjusting the structure of various teams to prioritize their most important work - albeit with fewer employees. 

A number of Google employees took to Blind yesterday to report they'd been caught in the cuts as well - and not just in the divisions Google verified to us. According to Blind posters, cuts also affected ads, search, Geo and other teams. 

Google declined to provide additional layoff details or precise numbers when asked.

The Alphabet Workers Union, which represents Google employees bargaining with the Communication Workers of America, described the layoffs in a Twitter post as being unnecessary.

"Our members and teammates work hard every day to build great products for our users, and the company cannot continue to fire our coworkers while making billions every quarter," the union said. "We won't stop fighting until our jobs are safe!"

Google has yet to report full year results for 2023 but in the nine months ended September 30 it posted revenue of $221 billion, with net profit of $53.1 billion, both up year-on-year. ®

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