Turns out Google’s postpandemic reckoning didn’t just hit the Google Hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit products — it’s taken similarly sized bites out of Google’s core engineering and Google Assistant teams too. Google just confirmed to The Verge that it’s eliminated “a few hundred” roles in each of these divisions, meaning Google has confirmed layoffs of around a thousand employees on Wednesday alone, if we use a reasonable definition of “few”.
And those are only the cuts we know about. We asked Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini to say if this was the complete and total number of job cuts in this round of layoffs, but she stopped replying at that point, only confirming existing layoff reports at 9to5Google and Semafor. The New York Times reported on the engineering team layoffs too.
When we spoke to Mencini earlier this evening about the Google hardware layoffs, she did not mention the other layoffs — but did write that “a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better” and that “some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally.”
So there may be more, and it’s possible that Google is attempting to spread out the bad news instead of having it hit all at once. It became public during the Epic v. Google trial that Google is among the companies that attempts to plant stories to shape the news. I find it… interesting, at least, that 9to5Google and Semafor wrote scoops about Google hardware layoffs and Google knowledge team layoffs respectively, at around the same time, each without mentioning the other.
If so, though, it won’t work: The Verge is among the news outlets that takes a hard line against planted information, and we pride ourselves on finding the bigger picture.
Speaking of bigger pictures, though, Google is a huge company. Parent firm Alphabet employed 182,381 employees as of September 30th, 2023, so roughly a thousand job cuts would only be around half a percent of the company’s total.
If you know about more unreported layoffs, please tip us at [email protected].