Google to lay off 12,000 staff

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 18, 2019 A logo is pictured above the entrance to the offices of Google in London on January 18, 2019. - Google parent Alphabet on Monday reported a sharp drop in profits over the past quarter as it ramped up spending for a wide array of new gadgets and services. Profit dipped 23 percent from a year ago to $7.1 billion as revenue that 20 percent to $40.5 billion for the California tech giant and internet search leader. Shares in Alphabet fell 1.1 percent in after-hours trade on the weaker-than-expected profits. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

Google said Friday it will lay off 12,000 people from its workforce, adding to the slew of major U.S. tech companies cutting jobs amid fears of an oncoming recession.

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, said in an email sent to the company’s staff Friday that the firm will begin making layoffs in the U.S. immediately. In other countries, the process “will take longer due to local laws and practices,” he said. CNBC reported in November that Google employees had been fearing layoffs as its counterparts made cuts and as employees saw changes to the company’s performance ratings system.

The web search and video sharing giant will offer U.S.-based employees 16 weeks of severance pay plus two weeks for each additional year they’ve worked at Google, Pichai added.

Google shares closed up more than 5% after the news.

Tech companies are facing a variety of challenges at the moment, not least rising interest rates and inflation over the past year that have clobbered technology shares and forced advertisers to cut back on online ad spending.

Hikes to interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve in particular have led to souring appetite for American tech shares. The gloomy macroeconomic climate has in turn piled pressure on those companies to make deep cuts to their workforces.

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