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Google to lay off 12,000 workers, Sundar Pichai takes responsibility in his note


Mountain View: Google's parent company Alphabet Inc is laying off 12,000 employees days after its rival Microsoft Corp announced that it will be eliminating 10,000 jobs. Google's job losses will be across recruiting, engineering, products, and other corporate teams.

CEO Sundar Pichai in his memo to staff said the layoffs are global and will impact US staff as well. The US staff who are being let go have already received email correspondence. In other countries, the process will take longer due to local laws and practices.

In the note addressed to Googlers, Pichai said the move means that the company will be saying goodbye to "some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with." He apologised for the layoff and said "the fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here."

He explained that the economic reality of today is different from what was expected two years ago. "Over the past two years, we've seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today."

He added that the company has undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that its people and roles are aligned with its highest priorities. The CEO thanked the employees who are being let go and assured them support as they look for another opportunity.

Speaking about the difficult times, he said Alphabet is a 25-year-old company and it is bound to go through difficult economic cycles. "These are important moments to sharpen our focus, re-engineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities." He further said that early investments in AI have made Google's products better than ever. The tech giant is also getting ready to share some new experiences with users.

Pichai also said employees are free to work from home to absorb the difficult news. Employees being fired in the US will get paid for a notification period of a minimum of 60 days and they will also get a severance package starting at 16 weeks' salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google. They can also access remaining vacation time, six months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support.

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