Google CEO apologises after 12,000 staff globally are let go

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Google CEO Sundar Pichai: “I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here”

Google announced it is letting go of 12,000 staff from its offices around the world in response to an economic downturn.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, said in a statement on the tech company’s website that the decision was made to reduce their work workforce by approximately 12,000 roles in the US and globally.

“This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I’m deeply sorry for that,” he 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,” Pichai admitted.

Pichai explained that over the last two years, Google has seen periods of dramatic growth and to match that growth, the company hired based on a different reality that faces them today.

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

Pichai noted that the company has undertaken a rigorous review across its product areas and functions to ensure their people and roles align with their highest priorities.
“The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions,” he added.
To the Google employees leaving, Pichai shared his gratitude to their contributions to the company. He said: “Thank you for working so hard to help people and businesses everywhere. Your contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful for them.”
Pichai added that the transition will not be an easy process and that they will support employees as they look for their next opportunity.
In the US, this includes employees being paid out for their full notification period of 60 days, severance package, bonuses and vacation time, and six months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support.
Employees outside of the US will be supported in line with local practices.
Looking ahead, Pichai said: “As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.”
Pichai noted that as a result of early investments in AI, the company as a substantial opportunity with the technology across its products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.
“All this work is a continuation of the “healthy disregard for the impossible” that’s been core to our culture from the beginning,” he said.
Concluding his message, Pichai said: “When I look around Google today, I see that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That’s why I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days. Today is certainly one of them.”

Top image: Sundar Pichai

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