Google cuts hundreds of jobs across engineering, hardware teams

The Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, Jan. 30, 2023.

Marlena Sloss | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google cut several hundred jobs across the company late Wednesday night as it continues to push for efficiency and focus on its “biggest product priorities,” a spokesperson confirmed to CNBC.

The layoffs will impact employees within Google’s hardware and central engineering teams, as well as workers across Google Assistant, its voice-activated software product. Other parts of the company were also affected, according to Google.

Shares of Alphabet, which owns Google, closed down less than 1% on Thursday.

The announcement marks the latest cost-cutting effort at Google as it works to rein in the dramatic headcount growth it pursued during the pandemic. Last January, Google slashed its workforce by 12,000 people, or roughly 6% of its full-time employees. The company made other cuts to its recruiting and news divisions later in the year.

Google has also shifted its focus to prioritize developments in areas like artificial intelligence, launching products like the chatbot Bard and the large language model Gemini as it races to keep up with competitors like Microsoft and Amazon.

“To best position us for these opportunities, throughout the second half of 2023, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, and to align their resources to their biggest product priorities,” a Google spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. “Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally.”

Google also made significant cuts to diversity, equity and inclusion programs last year, CNBC found.

The Alphabet Workers Union expressed disappointment about the latest round of layoffs at Google in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, late Wednesday, calling them “needless.”

“Our members and teammates work hard every day to build great products for our users, and the company cannot continue to fire our coworkers while making billions every quarter,” the group wrote in a post. “We won’t stop fighting until our jobs are safe!”

The cuts at Google were first reported by 9to5Google and Semafor.

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