Mirroring Meta, Google announced a series of layoffs impacting the augmented reality (AR) hardware, Google Assistant, and core engineering divisions, last week (Jan. 10).
A Google representative explained to Android Central that these changes were geared towards enhancing efficiency and aligning resources with the company's major product priorities.
However, according to an internal memo obtained by The Verge, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees on Wednesday (Jan. 17) that the layoffs this year focused on “removing layers to simplify execution and drive velocity in some areas.”
“We have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year,” Pichai wrote.
“The reality is that to create the capacity for this investment, we have to make tough choices."
He acknowledged the changes faced by several teams and hinted that more layoffs were making their way.
However, Pichai assured his employees that these role eliminations are not at last year's scale of reductions and will not impact every team.
Google's parent company, Alphabet, laid off 12,000 jobs, 6% of its employees, in January 2023 because they over-hired people to match and fuel two years of dramatic growth.
"But I know it's difficult to see colleagues and teams impacted," Pichai noted in the memo.
It is speculated that these layoffs are occurring due to Google's recent shift towards AI. Google told Semafor, "restructuring would help improve Google Assistant as it explores integrating newer artificial intelligence technology into its products."
According to the Alphabet Workers Union, Google laid off nearly 15,000 employees over the past year.
"Many of these changes are already announced, though to be upfront, some teams will continue to make specific resource allocation decisions throughout the year where needed, and some roles may be impacted," Pichai added.
Not much was said about which departments would be impacted or when the layoffs were expected to happen.
Google has assured affected employees of its support and urged them to seek new opportunities within the company. Nevertheless, given the recent layoffs and more anticipated, prospects of rehiring seem bleak.
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Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cosy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog or leveling up in the gaming universe.