We’re not even three weeks into 2024, and Google has already laid off more than 1,000 workers - and though this is not nearly as many as the more than 12,000 redundancies announced this time last year, the company's CEO has hinted that there are more to come.
Sundar Pichai shared the news via an internal memo with staff this week (shared with The Verge), indicating a shifting focus for Google that would result in some job losses.
However, the bad news only serves to confirm what Googlers had been anticipating after a few fairly small rounds of layoffs this month.
Google warns of more layoffs
In a memo to workers, Pichai said: “These role eliminations are not at the scale of last year’s reductions, and will not touch every team.”
In January 2023, Google joined numerous other tech firms in cutting its headcount after overhiring during the pandemic.
Pichai vaguely touched on the reason behind 2024’s layoffs in his message: “We have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year… The reality is that to create the capacity for this investment, we have to make tough choices.”
He added that the shakeup would help in “removing layers to simplify execution and drive velocity in some areas.” It’s unclear whether the additional velocity that Pichai hopes for will come in the form of artificial intelligence, which appears to be already replacing some workers in Google’s ads business after a small round of layoffs this month.
When we asked Google about the effects of artificial intelligence on job security in relation to that specific headcount reduction, the company did not have anything to say.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that Pichai's email regarding job cuts had been sent, but declined to add any further information.
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With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!