The announcement was made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai via an email to his employees and a blog post, saying that the company will cut approximately 12,000 workers or 6% of Google’s global workforce.
Pichai said AI would be one of Google’s top priorities this year. “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," he added.
He also mentioned that while Google may be constrained in some areas, this move will allow the company to “bet big” on others about AI. “Pivoting the company to be AI-first years ago led to groundbreaking advances across our businesses and the whole industry... Thanks to those early investments, Google’s products are better than ever,” he explained. “We have a substantial opportunity with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.”
In light of the decision, laid-off employees will receive full payment within the 60-day notice period, a severance package starting at 16 weeks' salary, 2022 bonuses, and six months of healthcare.