Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, announced the news Tuesday in an internal memo, noting “the uncertain global economic outlook.” Google confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Nation World News Business but declined to comment further.
“Moving forward, we must be more entrepreneurial, work with greater urgency, sharper focus and hungrier than we have shown on the sunniest of days,” Pichai said in the memo, according to The Wall Street Journal. “In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes.”
Alphabet reported a headcount of 163,906 employees at the end of March, according to a regulatory filing, an increase of more than 20,000 employees from a year earlier.
The Google memo is the latest sign that the once-high-flying tech sector is facing a new reality after recently enjoying a surge in demand due to changing consumer behavior during the pandemic. Rising levels of inflation, rising interest rates, and fears of an impending recession have prompted a host of tech companies to recently announce that they are reducing hiring or cutting staff.
A growing number of tech companies have announced layoffs, including Netflix and Coinbase. GoPuff, an ultra-fast delivery startup, recently notified investors that it plans to cut 10% of its global workforce and close dozens of its U.S. warehouses. Microsoft also confirmed earlier this week that it was cutting a small number of jobs, although he plans to continue hiring.
Other companies, including Uber, Lyft, Snap, Twitter and Apple, have also signaled plans to cut costs in the future.