In a latest layoff announcement, Google’s parent Alphabet Inc said it is cutting about 12,000 jobs as it faces ‘a different economic reality’.
Google is latest among tech giants to downsize after a pandemic-led hiring spree left them flabby in a weak economy.
These giants have announced job cuts as they prune payrolls that rapidly expanded during the pandemic lockdown.
Recently, Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, or nearly 5% of its workforce.
Amazon too had said it is cutting 18,000 jobs, while software maker Salesforce is laying off about 8,000 employees, or 10% of the total.
Facebook parent Meta announced it would shed 11,000 positions, or 13% of its workers.
Elon Musk slashed jobs at Twitter after he acquired the social media company. As per reports, more than half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees have been laid off since last year.
Apple, which hired more prudently through the pandemic, has held off on cuts so far. On Friday, though, website AppleInsider reported citing sources that the iPhone maker had started to layoff non-seasonal employees in its retail channel in places such as Best Buy stores, news agency Reuters reported.
Reportedly, CEOs of a number of companies have taken blame for growing too fast.
The cuts come as Alphabet, long a leader in key areas of artificial intelligence (AI), is facing competition from Microsoft Corp , which is reportedly looking to boost its stake in ChatGPT – a promising chatbot that answers queries with human-like responses.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that over the past two years the tech giant saw periods of dramatic growth. “To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” he said in an email to the employees.
Microsoft Corp said it would eliminate 10,000 jobs and take a $1.2 billion charge to earnings, as its cloud-computing customers reassess their spending and the company braces for potential recession.
In a note to employees, CEO Satya Nadella attempted to address the divergent outlook for different parts of the business.
Customers wanted to ‘optimize their digital spend to do more with less’ and ‘exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one,’ he said. ‘At the same time, the next major wave of computing is being born with advances in AI.’
However, Microsoft would keep hiring in ‘strategic areas,’ he said. AI is likely to be one of those areas.
Amazon said that it will be cutting about 18,000 positions. It’s the largest set of layoffs in the Seattle-based company’s history.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” CEO Andy Jassy said in a note to employees. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”
He said the layoffs will mostly impact the company’s Amazon Stores division — which a spokesman said encompasses its e-commerce business as well as company’s brick-and-mortar stores such as Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go — and its PXT organizations, which handle human resources and other functions.
The Software major said it is laying off about 8,000 employees, or 10% of its workforce.
The cuts announced are by far the largest in the 23-year history of a San Francisco company.
Marc Benioff, the chief executive at Salesforce, told employees that he blamed himself for the layoffs after continuing to hire aggressively into the pandemic, with millions of Americans working from home and demand for the company’s technology surging.
Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg also acknowledged he misread the revenue gains that the owner of Facebook and Instagram was reaping during the pandemic when he announced in November that his company would by laying off 11,000 employees, or 13% of its workforce.
Defending the layoffs, Musk had also tweeted that the service was experiencing a ‘massive drop in revenue’ as advertisers pulled spending.
Moreover, 2022 saw more than 97,000 job cuts in tech were announced, highest for the sector since 2002, when 131,000 cuts were announced, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
2023 has just started and layoffs have continued so far and have fanned fears of a recession even as the US job market remains tight.
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