(Repost) Bloomberg -- Google Lays Off Hundreds in Hardware, Assistant, Engineering

 (Transcribed with OpenAI Whisper)

Google lays off hundreds in hardware voice assistant teams. Alphabet Incorporated's Google is laying off hundreds of people working on its digital assistant hardware and engineering teams as part of a continued effort to lower costs and prioritize efforts around artificial intelligence. The affected employees included those working on the voice based Google assistant and at the augmented reality hardware team. The company's central engineering organization was also hit by cuts, the company said. The reductions come as Google's core search business feels the heat from the AI offerings of rivals Microsoft Corporation and chat GPT creator OpenAI. On calls with investors, Google executives pledged to scrutinize their operations to identify places where they can make cuts and free up resources to invest in their biggest priorities. Sent via social, flow. View original tweet. 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 said in a statement. Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which includes some role eliminations globally. Alphabet's shares rose as much as 2.1% to $145.22 in New York, the highest level in almost two years. Features at the search giant have been on edge since January of last year, when parent Alphabet said it would cut about 12,000 jobs, more than 6% of its global workforce. That sent shock waves through Silicon Valley. But the company continued to make smaller trims over the course of 2023, including layoffs within teams focused on recruiting, news products and the Waze mapping app. Read more. Amazon is laying off hundreds in Prime Video Studios unit. While the large round of cuts in January 2023 was telegraphed by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, this year's reductions have been communicated by lower level leaders, such as vice presidents and human resources, according to a current employee and a former worker. Amazon.com Inc. also laid off hundreds of staff in its Prime Video and Studios business this week, raising questions about whether another major round of job cuts was underway in Silicon Valley. Semaphore first reported the layoffs to the Google Assistant team, while 9to5 Google first reported the reorganization for hardware. Affected staff have begun receiving the news and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions elsewhere within Google, the company said. Sent via Twitter web app. View original tweet. The Alphabet Workers Union, which represents some of its employees, criticized the job cuts in a statement posted to the social network X, formerly known as Twitter. Our members and teammates work hard every day to build great products for our users, and the company cannot continue to fire our co-workers while making billions every quarter, the group said. We won't stop fighting until our jobs are safe.

Key Takeaways from the Article:

  1. Google's Layoffs in Digital Assistant and AR Teams: Alphabet Inc.'s Google is laying off hundreds of employees working on its voice-based digital assistant and augmented reality hardware teams.

  2. Focus on Cost Reduction and AI Prioritization: These layoffs are part of Google's continued effort to lower costs and shift focus to prioritizing artificial intelligence projects.

  3. Impact on Central Engineering Organization: The company's central engineering organization has also been affected by these cuts.

  4. Response to Competitive AI Market: The reductions are seen as a reaction to the pressure Google's core search business is facing from AI offerings by competitors like Microsoft Corporation and OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.

  5. Investor Calls and Operational Scrutiny: Google executives have communicated on investor calls about scrutinizing operations to identify potential cost-cutting areas to invest in top priorities.

  6. Organizational Changes for Efficiency: Throughout the second half of 2023, Google teams have been restructuring to improve efficiency and align resources with major product priorities, which has led to global role eliminations.

  7. Rise in Alphabet's Shares: Following these announcements, Alphabet's shares rose to their highest level in almost two years.

  8. Continued Job Cuts After Major Layoffs: Despite a significant reduction of about 12,000 jobs in January 2023, Google continued smaller trims throughout the year in various departments.

  9. Communication of Layoffs: Unlike the large-scale layoffs announced by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the recent reductions have been communicated by lower-level leaders like vice presidents and human resources.

  10. Comparisons with Amazon's Layoffs: The article draws parallels with Amazon.com Inc., which also laid off staff in its Prime Video and Studios business, raising concerns about broader job cuts in Silicon Valley.

  11. Opportunities for Affected Staff: Affected Google staff are being offered the chance to apply for open positions elsewhere within the company.

  12. Reaction from Alphabet Workers Union: The Alphabet Workers Union criticized the job cuts, emphasizing the hard work of employees and the company's profitability, and vowed to fight for job security.

The article outlines Google's strategic shift towards AI and cost reduction, impacting its workforce in certain departments, and highlights the broader trend of workforce adjustments in major tech companies.

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