Google parent Alphabet has become the latest tech giant to announce major job cuts, as tech companies retrench after their surge of growth during the pandemic.
Alphabet and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in an open letter late on Friday the company would cut about 12,000 jobs, or roughly 6 percent of its global workforce.
Pichai said the company had “hired for a different economic reality” from the situation today.
Surging inflation and higher interest rates have recently led to an economic slowdown.
Pichai said the company had undertaken a “rigorous review” to ensure its “people and roles are aligned” with the firm’s priorities.
He said the cuts would affect all of Alphabet’s units, not just Google, and would take place across all regions and product areas.
Alphabet’s announcement follows the announcement of 10,000 job cuts at Microsoft earlier last week, affecting nearly 5 percent of its workforce, and Amazon’s move to cut 18,000 jobs, or 1.2 percent of its worldwide staff, in early January.
Salesforce cut more than 10,000 jobs earlier this month, while Facebook parent Meta announced 11,000 job cuts in November as ad spending slowed.
Apple remains the only one of the biggest tech firms yet to announce layoffs.
Pichai said in the US Alphabet would offer severance packages starting at 16 weeks’ salary, with an additional two weeks for every year worked, including 2022 bonuses and unused vacation time, six months of healthcare and additional support services.
“As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles,” Pichai wrote, adding it was important to “sharpen our focus”.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said the cuts in Silicon Valley were the result of “hypergrowth” during the pandemic.
“The reality is tech stalwarts overhired at a pace that was unsustainable,” he said.