Google owner to cut thousands of staff globally

Tech giant is latest firm to announce thousands of job cuts

Fears for jobs at Google’s Irish operations emerged after parent company Alphabet announced on Friday that it would cut thousands of jobs globally.

In an email to staff sent, the company said it would shed 12,000 jobs, equivalent to about 6 per cent of its workforce, across all areas, functions and regions of the business.

Chief executive Sundar Pichai said he took responsibility for the “difficult news”.

“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” he said. “I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. To fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices.”


Mr Pichai said a rigorous review had been undertaken of the business, and the planned job cuts reflected that.

“While this transition won’t be easy, we’re going to support employees as they look for their next opportunity,” he said.

It is not yet known how Google’s Irish workforce will be affected. The company did not comment on the potential losses here. Google employs 7,000 people in Ireland, and occupies several office buildings in the Silicon Docks area of Dublin. The tech giant is due to meet staff in the coming days to discuss the impact of the cuts.

The tech giant is the latest to announce job losses, and follows news that Microsoft is shedding 10,000 roles globally. Amazon is currently cutting 18,000 jobs, while Facebook owner Meta Platforms, Twitter and payments firm Stripe have also cut back in recent months. Salesforce and Zendesk have also been hit by job losses.

Staff in the United States have already been informed of the cuts, but employment laws mean the process will take longer internationally.

Google did not specify what packages will be offered to international staff, including Ireland, but said it would support employees in line with local practices. The US staff will see their full notification period of a minimum of 60 days paid, with severance packages to start from 16 weeks’ salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google.

The company will also accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU – Google restricted stock units – vesting, pay 2022 bonuses and holidays, and offer six months of healthcare, job placement services and immigration support for those affected.

Mr Pichai said he remained optimistic about the company’s future. “As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, re-engineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities,” he said.

“We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist