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

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

Alphabet, whose shares rose 3% in premarket trading, is making the cuts just as the U.S. company faces a threat to its longtime perch atop the tech sector.

For years, Alphabet has attracted top talent to create Google, YouTube and other products that reach billions of users, but now it competes with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in a burgeoning field known as the name of generative artificial intelligence.

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

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told staff in a memo that the company has reviewed its products, people and priorities, resulting in job cuts across all regions and technologies. It had grown rapidly 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 got us here,” Pichai said.

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

The layoffs are global and have an immediate impact on American personnel.

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

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

“I am confident of the tremendous opportunity that lies ahead of us through the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI,” Pichai said.

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

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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