Alphabet CEO tells Googlers: More job cuts on the way
It won't be anywhere near the 12,000 heads that rolled last year, though, says Pichai
Alphabet boss Sundar Pichai is warning Googlers to brace themselves for more jobs cuts in 2024 though they won’t be as deep as last year.
So far, Google has waved goodbye to more than 1,000 employees in January, including team members in the core engineering group, the Google Assistant unit, Devices and services, vid platform YouTube, and even its ad biz.
Anyone at the company thinking those are more than enough already will be sorely disappointed by the memo dispatched to the workforce by Pichai yesterday, in which he outlines the need to go further.
“We have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year,” he said in the memo, seen by The Verge. “The reality is that to create the capacity for this investment, we have to make tough choices.”
“These role eliminations are not at the scale of last year’s reduction, and will not touch every team,” he added. “But I know it’s very difficult to see colleagues and team impacted.”
The aim of the cuts in 2024 is concerned with “removing layers to simplify execution and drive velocity in some areas,” he said, with some “role eliminations” on the way.
“Many of these changes are already announced, though to be upfront, some teams will continue to make specific resource allocation decision throughout the year where needed, and some roles may be impacted.”
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For those with a short memory, Google got rid of 12,000 employees in 2023 after a hiring frenzy during the early years of the pandemic: headcount grew from 120,000 at the end of Q1 2020 to 186,000 plus at the end of September 2022. Redundancies were made across the business.
Some institutional investors wanted to see Google go even further, with Sir Christopher Hohn’s The Children’s Investment Fund calling for up to 30,000 Googler’s heads to roll. He urged management to reduce headcount to 150,000. It is perhaps worth pointing out that Hohn reportedly paid himself $1.8 million a day in 2022.
Talking of money, Google reported net profit of $53.1 billion in the nine months ended September 30, 2023, compared to $46.34 billion in the corresponding period of 2022. Revenue was $221.1 billion, up from $206.78 billion. Total costs and expenses were up to $160 billion versus $150 billion.
Google wasn't alone last year and almost a quarter of a million jobs cuts were made in the tech sector worldwide, as financial results dipped and many companies realized they'd recruited too aggressively. ®