Google lays off 100 at YouTube; CEO says more layoffs are coming

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Written By Sedoso Feb

Enlarge / Google is looking pretty dilapidated these days.
Aurich Lawson

Today’s Google layoff announcement concerns YouTube, which plans to lay off 100 employees. Tubefilter was the first to report the news. This is the third Google layoff announcement in eight days (the other two were at Google Assistant/Hardware and Google Ads) and the 10th Google layoff announcement we’ve covered in the past 12 months. It feels like we could be doing this kind of reporting via a template by now.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says to expect more layoffs. The Verge got hold of an internal memo from Pichai to Google’s remaining employees on January 10, telling them to brace for “tough choices” in the future and that “to be upfront, some teams will continue to make specific resource allocation decisions throughout the year where needed, and some roles may be impacted.” Last year Google cut 12,000 jobs in January and continued to make smaller additional cuts all year. Pichai told his employees that this year, “these role eliminations are not at the scale of last year’s reductions, and will not touch every team.”

The January 10 date of the memo means Googlers got a heads up about the Google Assistant, Hardware, Google Ads, and YouTube layoffs, but no one knows when the layoffs will stop. Making investors happy is a big factor in all these layoffs, so if you’re interested in the Wall Street perspective on Google’s headcount, back in March 2023, activist investor Christopher Hohn of TCI Fund Management wanted to see Pichai cut another 25,000 people after the 12,000 original layoffs. Hohn wants to see Alphabet/Google go back to 150,000 employees, which was the company headcount at the end of 2021.

Even after what seemed like an endless amount of layoff announcements last year, as of Q3 2023, Alphabet’s headcount was still at 182,381. Even though the company laid off over 12,000 people, it was still hiring people during that time, so year over year, Alphabet’s headcount only dropped by 4,400 people.

For years, one of Google’s big advantages was being a great workplace, with endless employee perks, 20 percent time to work on pet projects, and whimsical offices. Budget cutbacks and another year of looming layoffs will put a serious dent in the already awful morale at the company. Back when founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin introduced Google to Wall Street in an IPO founders letter, the two said: “Our employees, who have named themselves Googlers, are everything.” Page and Brin are no longer in charge, though, and the company has changed significantly since then.

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