Google parent to lay off 12,000 workers in latest blow to tech

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Jan 20 (Reuters) – Google’s parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) is eliminating about 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its workforce, it said Friday, as Silicon Valley reels from recent layoffs and faces a troubled outlook.

Alphabet, whose shares rose 3% in pre-market trading, is making the cuts just as the U.S. company confronts a threat to its long-held perch atop the technology sector.

For years Alphabet has attracted top talent to build Google, YouTube and other products that reach billions of users, but it is now locked in competition with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in a burgeoning area known as generative artificial intelligence.

The cuts at Alphabet come days after Microsoft said it would lay off 10,000 workers.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told staff in a memo that the firm had reviewed its products, people and priorities, leading to job cuts across geographies and tech. It had rapidly expanded for better times but now faced “a different economic reality”.

“The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here,” said Pichai.

Alphabet’s job losses affect teams across the company including recruiting and some corporate functions, as well as some engineering and products teams.

The layoffs are global and impact U.S. staff immediately.

Alphabet has already emailed affected employees, the memo said, while the process will take longer in other countries due to local employment laws and practices.

The news comes during a period of economic uncertainty as well as technological promise.

“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,” Pichai said.

Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in Davos, Switzerland; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Alexander Smith

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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