Google, the world’s largest search engine, has recently announced its biggest round of layoffs in company history, cutting 12,000 jobs or 6% of its full-time workforce. The company, which is owned by Alphabet, has eliminated over 1,800 jobs in its home state of California as part of this round of layoffs. According to filings released by the state and viewed by CNBC, 1,845 positions, or 15% of the cuts, were in California.
The majority of the headcount reduction in the state occurred in and around the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters. Some 1,436 jobs were cut in Mountain View, where Google is based, while 119 were in San Bruno, home to YouTube. Palo Alto saw 53 cuts. “Employee separations at the Facilities resulting from this action are expected to commence March 31, 2023,” read the filings, which were dated January 20th.
A Google spokesperson told CNBC that the March date is due to a notification period required in California. WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) forces employers to give impacted employees as well as state and local representatives at least 60 days written advance notice “of any plant closing or mass layoff.” Google’s initial announcement said that the company would pay U.S. employees “during the full notification period (minimum 60 days).”
More than a quarter of the Bay Area roles affected had “director” or “senior” in the titles, indicating that the cuts have affected higher-level employees. The cuts also included 27 in-house massage therapists, with 24 in Mountain View and three in the Southern California markets of Los Angeles and Irvine. In total, 177 cuts took place in L.A., mostly from the company’s Playa Vista campus. There were 60 cuts in Irvine.
The layoffs come as Alphabet is facing slow growth and recession risks as the tech market adjusts to the end of an extended bull market. The company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, addressed the layoffs while taking questions from employees at a company-wide meeting on Monday, expressing his understanding of the employees’ concerns about their future. He stated, “I understand you are worried about what comes next for your work. Also very sad for the loss of some really good colleagues across the company.”
The layoffs have affected many employees in California, leaving them uncertain about their future. The state and local representatives have been notified about the layoffs and the company has announced that it will pay its U.S. employees during the full notification period. However, this is still a difficult time for many people who have lost their jobs, especially for those who have been working for the company for a long time. It remains to be seen how the company will navigate the challenges it is facing in the current economic climate, and how it will continue to support its employees in the future.