Google’s Historic Job Cuts
The tech giant unexpectedly announced a 6% reduction in its workforce. Why did this happen, which areas are impacted, and why is Apple unlikely to follow suit?
I tend to keep my finger on the pulse of chatter among software engineers, and I share some of the observations, trends and scoops. This past week, one topic has dominated the discussions I’ve been having: Google’s seemingly unexpected layoffs and what it means.
In today’s issue, we will dive deeper, covering not just the events at Google, but taking a look at other Big Tech companies:
Today's topics are:
Google’s sudden and unexpected cuts. In an email sent out at 2am Pacific time, the company terminated 6% of its workforce. “Surprised” doesn’t sum up how lots of people processed the news.
Earlier warning signs. Looking back, there were indicators that cuts could happen, even if they were hard to notice.
Why did the layoffs really happen? Google will close the year with more than $66B of profit, it's the second-best year ever. Why make cuts on the back of another very successful year? We do a thorough comparison with Microsoft’s reduction in its workforce. There are just too many similarities between the two companies.
Areas impacted, areas safe, and severance payments. The cuts were not evenly distributed and some groups were hit harder than others. I’ve talked with Googlers to find out which groups were which.
Google’s “rest and vest” perception shattered? For close to a decade, Google was known as a place with great work-life-balance, great compensation, and great job stability. How will this perception change?
Apple: the only Big Tech giant going against the tide. Only Apple has not executed major job cuts. But why is this, and can we now expect it to follow suit by shedding workers? I’ve dug deep into historical trends and have reached the conclusion that Apple might not need – or even want – to do any form of cuts.
The big picture. It’s not all gloom and doom: Big Tech has grown very much in 2022, even when taking the cuts into account. And some areas look to be safer from future reductions than others.