‘More layoffs in 2024, but…’ Google CEO Sundar Pichai tells employees

The layoff ‘season’ among the top tech companies around the globe has been going on for a few years now and Google is among the top IT giants to have laid off thousands of employees since 2023. The layoffs at the Alphabet-owned company have continued in 2024 as well, though in a more gradual manner.

The employees have been curious about their fate at the company as several reports, as well as Google CEO Sundar Pichai himself, have indicated that the tech giant will continue to cut off on its workforce to “improve velocity”. To resolve the apprehensions among the employees, Pichai responded to their questions regarding job cuts at a company-wide all hands meeting held recently.

The Google CEO confirmed the company’s intention to further downsize the workforce but also assured that the impact will be lesser in the latter half of the year.

Replying to a question, “When can we expect an end to the uncertainty and disruptions that layoffs create?”, Pichai said, “The majority of the layoffs would happen in the first six months of 2024. Assuming current conditions, the second half of the year will be much smaller in scale.”

He further added that the company will be “very very disciplined” about managing headcount growth throughout the year.

Referring to the changing economic landscape, the 51-year-old CEO said, “There is a lot of demand to do new things and, in the past, we would have just done it reflexively by growing headcount. We can’t do it now through the transition we are in.”

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Pichai had explained why the company keeps doing regular layoffs. He said that while in some cases the company is simplifying teams, in others, it is “reallocating” its workforce towards “highest priorities”.

Notably, in January 2023, Google did a mass layoff and fired 12,000 employees, about 6 per cent of its workforce at the time.

Published 11 May 2024, 14:35 IST

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