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Google reportedly axes hundreds of jobs

According to an NYT report, tech giant Google let hundreds of workers go as it looks to lower expenses and focus on AI, while Amazon and Twitch also shed staff.

Andrew Wooden

January 11, 2024

3 Min Read

‘Three people with knowledge of the cuts’ told the NYT the firm has cut several hundred roles in its core engineering division, as well as divisions related to Google Assistant, the Pixel phone, Fitbit watches and Nest thermostat.

“We’ve had to make some difficult decisions about ongoing employment of some Google employees and we regret to inform you that your position is being eliminated,” the company told some workers, according to text reviewed by NYT.

It also received a statement from Google saying: “We’re responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead.” And referencing previous job cuts added: “Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally.”

And according to 9to5 Google, Google is reorganizing the Devices and Services teams responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit hardware, and Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman, as well as other Fitbit leaders, are leaving the firm.

Around this time last year, Google announced it was cutting 12,000 staff, amid a wider slew of job cuts in the big tech sphere with Meta, Amazon and Microsoft shedding hundreds of staff.

Back then, CEO Sundar Pichai blamed the job cuts on ‘economic cycles’: “Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” he said. “As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, re-engineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.”

Similar to last year, Google isn’t the only big tech firm making cuts as we start the new year. Twitch has announced that it will be loosing 500 employees, in a move it categorised as ‘right-sizing’ by CEO Dan Clancy.

“I know many of you are wondering why this is happening. Over the last year, we’ve been working to build a more sustainable business so that Twitch will be here for the long run and throughout the year we have cut costs and made many decisions to be more efficient. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, it has become clear that our organization is still meaningfully larger than it needs to be given the size of our business.  Last year we paid out over $1 billion to streamers. So while the Twitch business remains strong, for some time now the organization has been sized based upon where we optimistically expect our business to be in 3 or more years, not where we’re at today.”

Elsewhere in Amazon, (which owns Twitch) The Hollywood Reporter reports that it will axe hundreds of jobs within its Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios divisions. It quotes an announcement email from Mike Hopkins who leads the division as saying:

“Throughout the past year, we’ve looked at nearly every aspect of our business with an eye towards improving our ability to deliver even more breakthrough movies, TV shows, and live sports in a personalized, easy to use entertainment experience for our global customers. As a result, we’ve identified opportunities to reduce or discontinue investments in certain areas while increasing our investment and focus on content and product initiatives that deliver the most impact.”

Last year’s big tech cull was broadly blamed on the fact many firms had expanded a lot during the pandemic, riding an associated boom in tech related demand – a picture which changed when things returned to normal. Amazon Studios, Google and Twitch all have very different business models, but it might be this remains a contributing factor to the cuts, alongside the distinct market conditions of video game streams, TV production, and gadgetry.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins Telecoms.com on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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