April 21, 2024
Impending Layoffs in Focus on AI

Google CEO Warns of Impending Layoffs in Focus on AI

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has issued a warning to employees that further layoffs can be expected at the company as it shifts its focus towards new priorities, particularly artificial intelligence (AI). Pichai mentioned in an internal email, seen by AFP, that these role eliminations will not be on the same scale as last year’s reductions, and not all teams will be affected. However, he acknowledged that it would be difficult for employees to witness their colleagues and teams being impacted by these changes.

Pichai also emphasized that many of these changes have already been announced, but acknowledged that some teams may continue to make adjustments to resource allocation throughout the year, potentially leading to certain roles being impacted.

Last year, Google laid off approximately 12,000 employees, accounting for about six percent of its workforce, due to inflation and rising interest rates. The company recently confirmed that it would be eliminating several hundred positions within its global ad team as part of its efforts to leverage AI for improved efficiency and creativity.

These job cuts within the customer sales team are aimed at providing better support to small and medium-sized businesses that advertise on Google’s platform. In addition to this, Google’s YouTube arm has also laid off around 100 employees, as confirmed by the company to TechCrunch. According to the New York Times, these YouTube workers have a two-month window to find alternative roles within the company before their dismissals become effective.

Amazon, another tech giant, has also carried out staff reductions since the beginning of 2024. The company has targeted hundreds of individuals within its entertainment units, including Twitch, Prime Video, and Amazon MGM Studios. Similarly, US tech giants have been conducting significant layoffs since late 2022, after over-hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, laid off over 20,000 workers during this period as part of what it termed the “Year of Efficiency.”

As Google focuses on AI and reevaluates its priorities, it anticipates further role eliminations in the coming months. This may have implications for various teams within the company, although the exact extent of the layoffs is yet to be determined. Employees will need to adapt to these changes as Google seeks to align its workforce with its evolving goals and strategies in the realm of artificial intelligence.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it