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Google lays off hundreds more employees across multiple divisions

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Google conducted a new round of job cuts this week, laying off several hundred more employees across its hardware, engineering, and Google Assistant teams.

The layoffs on Wednesday evening impacted augmented reality (AR) hardware development the most heavily according to internal sources. But staff cuts also occurred in core engineering units and the group responsible for Google’s virtual voice assistant.

The company acknowledged the job eliminations but declined to give exact figures. The cuts represent about 0.5% of Google’s current workforce, which totaled around 182,000 as of September 2022.

We’ve had to make some difficult decisions about ongoing employment and regret informing impacted employees,” Google spokesperson Courtney Mencini, said.

The company framed it as aligning resources with top priorities.

Employees reported losing corporate access and receiving notices that their roles were eliminated. The latest cuts follow Google laying off some 12,000 staffers in January 2023 amidst macroeconomic uncertainty.

The Alphabet Workers Union criticized the company for continued layoffs despite billions in quarterly profits. But executives have focused recently on reducing costs and headcount.

Some teams are still making organizational changes and role eliminations globally,” the company statement confirmed.

The hardware division bore the brunt of this week’s cuts as Google consolidates and streamlines development of consumer devices like Pixel phones, Nest thermostats and Fitbit wearables.

Hundreds lost jobs in core engineering as well, hinting at reduced headcount across Google’s broad software portfolio from search to maps, cloud services and more.

Staffing cuts also hit the popular Google Assistant team working on the artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant available across Google’s products.

The latest layoffs align with other major technology companies scaling back their pandemic-era hiring amidst rising inflation and interest rates. Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and others have cut thousands of jobs in recent months.

Read also: Nigerian Fintech – Cleva – raises $1.5m to offer Dollar accounts across Africa

But Wall Street analysts argue Google parent Alphabet remains well-positioned given its strong balance sheet and billions in quarterly profit. The company continues investing heavily in research and development.

Nonetheless, CEO Sundar Pichai aims to hone Google’s focus on key growth areas like AI and cloud services. That requires directing resources to the most critical business needs, even as economic volatility persists.

This week’s job cuts enable Google to realign and support top priorities per management. But hundreds more now join the ranks of laid off employees seeking new opportunities.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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