Alphabet, the parent company of Google, said on Friday that it plans to cut 12,000 jobs, becoming the latest technology company to reduce its work force after a hiring spree during the pandemic and amid concerns about a broader economic slowdown.
The job cuts are the company’s largest ever, amounting to about 6 percent of the company’s global work force. Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s chief executive, said the company expanded too rapidly during the pandemic, when demand for digital services boomed, and now must refocus on products and technology core to the company’s future, like artificial intelligence.
“We hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” Mr. Pichai said in a note to employees posted on the company’s website.
Google joins a list of other technology companies that have laid off workers after concluding they had overextended under the belief that the pandemic-fueled boom represented a new normal. Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and Twitter are among others who have announced thousands of job cuts.
More than 190,000 jobs have been cut by technology firms since the start of 2022, according to Layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks job cuts in the industry.
The moves mark the end of a period in which the technology industry experienced uninterrupted growth, expanded rapidly and battled for employees with lavish perks and high pay. Google, started in 1998, helped define a Silicon Valley work culture that influenced corporations far beyond the technology sector.
Alphabet had nearly 187,000 employees as of the end of September 2022, compared with about 150,000 a year earlier.
The company said the job cuts would cut across product areas, job responsibilities and geographies. It comes at a time when Google is facing new competition from rivals offering new ways to search for information on the internet. ChatGPT, created by a company called OpenAI, has dazzled users by providing clearly written answers to questions and queries.
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