Google has laid off 12,000 staff around the world, or 6 per cent of its total headcount, in what has been described as an “impersonal” transition.
However, while staff in the US have already been locked out of their accounts and had their office keys deactivated, the future remains unclear for staff elsewhere in the world.
B&T understands that staff in Australia are almost entirely in the dark about their future and have had no indication as to whether they will or will not be cut, even as they watch colleagues in the US be made redundant.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to staff that he was “confident about the huge opportunity” thanks principally to its “early investments in AI” but that it needed to undertake a rigorous review into its employees and roles. The cuts, therefore, hit all the company’s “product areas, functions, levels and regions.”
The company said that it would support employees in line with local redundancy packages.
The company’s AI teams are understood to have emerged largely unscathed from the redundancies. However, Area 120, the company’s in-house incubator for ideas was hit hard with the unit’s managing partner and almost all employs laid off — save for those working on three projects set to be brought into the being.