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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has announced that it will cut 12,000 jobs across its operations globally, representing 6% of its workforce. 

This is coming barely two days after another tech giant, Microsoft, announced plans to lay off 10,000 workers. 

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Alphabet announced the layoffs in an open letter to its staff, blaming the current economic headwinds for the decision. The letter added that its past hirings did not prepare it for the current economic reality.  

While the layoffs are global, Alphabet said it will impact U.S. staff immediately while the process will take longer in other countries due to local employment laws and practices. The company said it has already emailed the affected employees.  

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The letter: Explaining the circumstances leading to the action, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, in the open letter to the staff said:  

  • “Over the past two years, we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face 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.  
  • “So, we’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions. 
  • “To the Googlers who are leaving us: Thank you for working so hard to help people and businesses everywhere. Your contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful for them.” 

Severance package: While the transition would not be easy for its affected staff, Pichai said the company would support them as they look for their next opportunity. 

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  • “In the US: We’ll pay employees during the full notification period (minimum 60 days). We’ll also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks’ salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting. 
  • “We’ll pay 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time. We’ll be offering 6 months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected. Outside the US, we’ll support employees in line with local practices,” the CEO said. 

Big layoffs: With the announcement by Alphabet, 4 out of the 5 big tech firms in the world have now announced significant redundancies in the past few months, with Apple the only one of the big 5 U.S. tech giants not to announce layoffs as of yet. 

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, affecting nearly 5% of its workforce, which followed Amazon’s move to cut 18,000 jobs or 1.2% of its global headcount. Facebook’s parent Meta, also announced 11,000 layoffs in November last year.  

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