Google CEO warns of more layoffs

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has warned employees that more layoffs are in store at the search engine giant as it focused on new priorities, including artificial intelligence.

“These role eliminations are not at the scale of last year’s reductions, and will not touch every team. But I know it’s very difficult to see colleagues and teams impacted,” Pichai said in an email to staff seen by AFP on Thursday.

“Many of these changes are already announced, though to be upfront, some teams will continue to make specific resource allocation decisions throughout the year where needed, and some roles may be impacted,” he added.

Google laid off around 12,000 people this time last year, about 6% of its workforce, in the face of inflation and rising interest rates.

The company on Tuesday confirmed it is eliminating “a few hundred” positions from its global ad team, amid a push to use AI for efficiency and creativity.

The job cuts to its “large customer” sales team are intended to result in better support for small and medium size businesses advertising on Google’s platform, according to the Internet giant.

The company on Wednesday also laid off about 100 employees at its YouTube arm, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.

According to the New York Times, the YouTube workers have two months to find new roles within the company before their dismissals take effect.

Since the start of 2024, tech titan Amazon has also cut staff, targeting hundreds of people at its entertainment units Twitch, Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios.

Since late 2022, US tech giants have culled tens of thousands of staff in an unprecedented layoff spree after over-hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Facebook-owner Meta laid off more than 20,000 workers in the period, in what it called the “Year of Efficiency”.

Amazon lost 27,000 workers. – AFP

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