As Alphabet’s profits surge, Google implements further layoffs across multiple teams

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What just happened? Google, whose parent Alphabet recently reported a 57% quarterly profit increase to $23.7 billion, has implemented yet another round of layoffs. The latest job cuts are mostly impacting the company’s Python team, as well as engineers from the Flutter and Dart departments.

According to a Reddit post by Kevin Moore, a Google Product Manager for Flutter and Dart (via The Reg), “The layoffs were decided AT LEAST a couple of layers above our team and affected a LOT of teams. (I think I can say that.)”

“Lots of good folks got bad news and lots of great projects lost people. Flutter and Dart were not affected any more or less [than] others. It was a tough day… tough week.”

byu/fintechninja from discussion

Flutter, an open-source UI toolkit that allows developers to build cross-platform apps, was making big strides last year, but laying off members of the team has raised questions over whether it will join Google’s very packed product graveyard.

The Python team, meanwhile, has also been reduced (aka, laid off). According to this Mastodon post, those being let go were first asked to onboard their replacements who will take on the same roles at a Munich-based team.

Alphabet laid off more employees than most tech giants last year, with more than 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its global workforce, being cut. As with other companies, the reductions have continued into 2024; hundreds of employees in Google’s voice assistant, hardware, and engineering teams were put out of work in January as the company looked to cut costs further and put more focus (and money) on artificial intelligence.

The latest reductions aren’t a huge surprise. Just a week after the January layoffs, Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned staff to brace for more cuts as it looked to meet ambitious goals and invest in big priorities in 2024, something that would require “tough choices,” which is corpo-speak for firing people.

Most of the layoffs from early last year were the result of overhiring during the pandemic when companies increased their headcounts to cope with the increased demand for their services. While the continuing economic climate has contributed to the cuts this year, massive investments in AI is playing a big part in the job losses, as Google itself admits.

In a statement to The Reg, Google said, “we’re responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead. To best position us for these opportunities, throughout the second half of 2023 and into 2024, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, remove layers and align their resources to their biggest product priorities.”

“Through this, we’re simplifying our structures to give employees more opportunity to work on our most innovative and important advances and our biggest company priorities, while reducing bureaucracy and layers.” That’s referring to employees who still have a job, presumably.

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