Implementation of the latest round of layoffs at Google began in the US at the end of last week. "The New York Times" and "The Verge" reported that at least 1,000 employees from various departments, including engineering and hardware, were dismissed. The layoffs affected the teams responsible for hardware products such as the Fitbit fitness smartwatch, Google's Pixel smartphones, and the personal assistant, in which Google is discontinuing some features and content.
This follows reports last week about the layoffs of thousands from Google's advertising departments. As at the start of 2023, cut 12,000 jobs, 6% of its workforce, Google is also beginning the current year with far-reaching changes - this time to allocate more resources to AI development as part of the fierce competition between the tech giants for generative AI products.
Layoffs expected at Waze
A source close to the matter has told "Globes" that Google has distributed a list of layoffs for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, as part of its cuts plan. The layoffs include the search departments, the company's core product (in Israel, most of the employees in this field are in Haifa); the data security and privacy products department, including the engineering divisions and the advertising and marketing department; and the maps division, in which Israel's Waze is also active, has been marked as one to be hit by cuts in the EMEA region. Last summer, Waze was made part of the maps division and its independent advertising system was canceled and merged with the Google Maps advertising system. The division has undergone upheavals over the past year, which included the departure of Waze's CEO.
Most of Google's activities in this region are in Dublin, Zurich, London, Wroclaw, Munich, Tel Aviv and Haifa. The latest layoffs have not yet reached Israel and none of the company's 2,000 employees in Tel Aviv and Haifa have been summoned to a dismissal hearing.
Google's spokesperson said: "As we have previously stated, we are investing responsibly in the company's key priorities and in the significant opportunities before us. To best prepare ourselves for the move, in the second half of 2023, a number of our teams have been streamlined to work better and align resources with the key priorities of their product. Some teams continue to make such organizational changes, which include a number of job cuts around the world. Any proposed organizational change is subject to local processes and regulation. We continue to support all affected employees as they search for new roles within and outside of Google."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 14, 2024.
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