Google lays off more workers and fires protestors in tumultuous week

Google's "G" logo
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • According to a Business Insider report, Google laid off more workers across its finance and real estate divisions this week. 
  • Google's finance head Ruth Porat reportedly said the company was moving some positions to "growth hubs," which are located in cities like Bangalore, Mexico City, and Dublin. 
  • In a separate incident, Google is said to have fired 28 employees in connection with an in-office protest, and sent out a warning to current employees not to do the same. 

Just this week alone, Google has laid off workers, launched massive reorganization efforts, and fired 28 protestors. A series of protests were staged at two Google offices this week related to the company's cloud contract with the Israeli government, and employees were fired for their involvement. Separately, Google announced a merge of multiple teams into a single "Platforms and Devices" unit. 

The layoffs were first reported by Business Insider, which said that jobs were cut across Google's finance and real estate teams. The company confirmed to Business Insider that layoffs occurred but would not say how many positions were eliminated or elaborate further. However, the report referenced an internal email from  Google's finance head, Ruth Porat, that the company was moving some positions to "growth hubs," which are located in cities like Bangalore, Mexico City, and Dublin.

Google's latest round of job cuts follows the thousands of roles that were eliminated across 2023 and thus far in 2024. Previous rounds of layoffs affected AR hardware, Google Assistant, and core engineering divisions, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the time warned more layoffs would come.

The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shade

(Image credit: Android Central)

In addition to the layoffs, Google fired 28 workers who were involved in a protest of Project Nimbus, which is a billion-dollar cloud contract with Israel's government that also includes other companies. Some employees occupied the offices of Google executives and were removed by law enforcement, suspended, and arrested. Later, in a memo to employees viewed by The Verge, Google's head of global security said that "behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it."

"These protests were part of a longstanding campaign by a group of organizations and people who largely don't work at Google," a Google spokesperson told Android Central in a statement. "A small number of employee protesters entered and disrupted a few of our locations."

The spokesperson said that after individual investigations were concluded, Google fired 28 employees and reiterated that the company "will continue to investigate and take action as needed."

"Physically impeding other employees' work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and completely unacceptable behavior," the Google spokesperson added.

The group that organized the protest, who goes by the "No Tech for Apartheid" name, released a response statement on Medium. "This flagrant act of retaliation is a clear indication that Google values its $1.2 billion contract with the genocidal Israeli government and military more than its own workers," the unauthored post read. 

Pichai appeared to acknowledge the discourse related to the protests in a note to employees posted to Google's blog today. 

"Ultimately we are a workplace and our policies and expectations are clear: this is a business, and not a place to act in a way that disrupts coworkers or makes them feel unsafe, to attempt to use the company as a personal platform, or to fight over disruptive issues or debate politics," the Google CEO wrote. "This is too important a moment as a company for us to be distracted."

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

  • Golfdriver97
    To be fair...some people (not necessarily Google employees) were snitching on themselves when they posted "A day in the life of..." and showed very little time working. As for me, I am in tech, but I try to fill my time as much as I can doing things in my downtime, like refactoring code or designing programs to help with some complex requests.
  • methodman89
    ' in office protest'.
    Just an observation, but how is this article, posted by AC, not deleted and the poster warned?
    It was a pro hamas demonstration.
    Are we going to get political on here now?
  • OhAlfie
    Fire all these anti- American nutso activists!