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Google Chief Warns of More ‘Role Eliminations’ After YouTube Layoffs

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Google’s CEO has reportedly warned employees to expect more job cuts this year.

“We have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year,” Sundar Pichai said in a Wednesday (Jan. 17) staff memo seen by Alex Heath of The Verge. “The reality is that to create the capacity for this investment, we have to make tough choices.”

The memo comes after a series of layoffs across the tech giant’s vast operations, including 100 employees at YouTube’s creator partnership team Wednesday, and several hundred last week in the voice assistant unit and in the hardware team behind Pixel, Nest and Fitbit.

“These role eliminations are not at the scale of last year’s reductions, and will not touch every team,” Pichai’s memo said, referring to the 12,000 jobs Google cut in early 2023. “But I know it’s very difficult to see colleagues and teams impacted.”

The CEO added that this year’s cuts were aimed at “removing layers to simplify execution and drive velocity in some areas.”

When reached for comment by PYMNTS, a spokesperson for Google confirmed the message from Pichai.

Google’s warning comes as a number of other prominent companies are also making cuts in a bid to reduce costs and promote efficiency, including AmazonCitigroupXerox and BlackRock. And while layoffs aren’t necessarily guaranteed, Apple is consolidating its AI team, with workers who choose not to relocate to a news base of operations in Austin at risk of losing their jobs.

As noted here last week, executives have stressed the need for companies to become leaner and argue their organizations are still larger than they need to be given the size of their business.

“The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), which can perform tasks traditionally handled by white-collar workers, and efforts to right-size the workforce after hiring sprees during the pandemic, have also played a role in the cuts,” PYMNTS wrote.

When informing Amazon employees about pending layoffs on Jan. 10, Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios, said that a reorganization had “identified opportunities to reduce or discontinue investments in certain areas while increasing our investment and focus on content and product initiatives that deliver the most impact.”