Google’s News Division Cuts Dozens of Jobs Amid Economic Uncertainty
Google’s news division has recently made the difficult decision to let go of between 40 to 45 employees as part of a broader effort to downsize amid ongoing economic uncertainty, reports indicate. The Alphabet Workers Union confirmed the layoffs, underscoring the challenges faced by major tech companies in the current landscape.
This move comes shortly after Alphabet-owned Google initiated workforce reductions in other segments of its business, including Verily, the healthcare analytics subsidiary, and Waymo, the autonomous driving unit, according to The Information. The precise number of individuals affected by these cuts in the healthcare and autonomous vehicle divisions remains undisclosed.
The timing of these job cuts, just ahead of Google’s third-quarter earnings release scheduled for October 24, has sparked concerns among employees about the possibility of additional layoffs in the future. As of the time of this report, Google and the Alphabet Workers Union had not responded to requests for comments.
In response to inquiries, a Google spokesperson informed CNBC that the company continues to employ hundreds in its news division, emphasizing the company’s long-term commitment to supporting a thriving information ecosystem that encompasses news. The spokesperson added, “We’ve made some internal changes to streamline our organization. A small number of employees were impacted. We’re supporting everyone with a transition period, outplacement services, and severance as they look for new opportunities at Google and beyond.”
Google News, an essential component of the search engine, serves as a news aggregator that curates stories from a vast array of publishers, playing a critical role in delivering valuable referral traffic to these news sources.
The news of these layoffs has left some within the tech giant’s workforce disheartened. Rob Ruenes, a staff software engineer at Google, expressed his dismay on his LinkedIn page, stating, “These are some of the best and brightest people I’ve ever worked with, and frankly, I don’t expect the calculus behind this decision will ever make sense to me. We’re definitely worse off without them.”
These job cuts come on the heels of Google’s earlier decision to release approximately 12,000 workers, constituting around 6% of its total workforce. This move was part of the company’s strategy to navigate an economically uncertain environment.
Google’s revenue growth, which stood at 32% in late 2021, experienced a significant drop to 7% in the second quarter of this year. Such figures reflect the complex and evolving challenges faced by tech companies in a rapidly changing global landscape. Notably, other tech firms, including Microsoft’s LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, Flexport, and Qualcomm, have also been compelled to announce layoffs in response to economic pressures.