Google told employees in an email on Friday that it would be cutting 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its global workforce, in its largest layoffs in company history.
In the email, CEO Sundar Pichai told employees that Google had hired aggressively over the past two years to match the dramatic growth it had experienced. However, much like other tech companies, the company now finds itself facing a different economic reality, Pichai explained, which forced it to make tough choices.
Employees affected by the layoffs in the U.S. have already received a notice in their emails. International employees may have to wait longer to find out if they were affected due to local laws.
“The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here,” Pichai said, adding that the company would be hosting a town hall on Monday to answer questions from employees.
The cuts will affect people across Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and are a result of a “rigorous review” that aimed to ensure the company’s workforce was in line with its highest priorities. One of those priorities is AI, according to Pichai’s email.
The Google CEO went on to share the details of the company’s generous severance packages for employees in the U.S. He stated that Google will pay employees during the layoff notification period, which will encompass a minimum of 60 days, and offer 16 weeks of salary plus two years for every year they worked at the company. Google will accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting, or stock awards, and also pay out 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time.
In terms of health care, Google will provide laid off employees with 6 months of coverage. In addition, it will offer job placement services and immigration support. While Pichai did not offer specifics on severance packages for international employees, he said that they would be “in line with local practices.”
This story is developing.