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Google lays off hundreds of employees

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is laying off hundreds of employees across several of their departments such as central engineering, Google Voice Assistant and the hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest and Fitbit as part of its ongoing cost-cutting actions, according to media reports on Thursday.

The augmented reality (AR) hardware team is the most affected, with hundreds of roles being eliminated. The move comes as Google works on an OEM-partnership model for AR hardware and is no longer working on its own AR hardware.

As for the hardware team, Google is looking to have only one centralized team that will be responsible for hardware engineering across Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit, with one leader responsible for all the products.

Previously, Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit had separate teams to handle aspects such as design, hardware engineering, software, UI, etc.

This reorganization has seen hundreds of roles been eliminated, including Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman, as well as other Fitbit leaders, leaving the company.

Regarding the Google Voice Assistant team, Google is said to be now looking to use its generative AI-powered Bard chatbot to further develop and revamp its Assistant offerings.

In a statement attributed to Google, the move comes as the company looks to “responsibly invest in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead.”

Reacting to the latest round of job cuts, Alphabet Workers Union (AWU-CWA) wrote on X, “Tonight, Google began another round of needless layoffs. Our members and teammates work hard every day to build great products for our users, and the company cannot continue to fire our coworkers while making billions every quarter. We won’t stop fighting until our jobs are safe!”

A year ago, Google had said it would lay off 12,000 employees or around 6% of its workforce, across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.

This was seen to be the biggest round of layoffs in the history of the company in a single year.

On Wednesday, Amazon said it will lay off hundreds of employees from its Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios divisions, according to an email to employees.

The layoffs come on the same day Amazon-owned Twitch livestreaming platform announced it will cut 500 jobs or 35 percent of its workforce.

Many major US tech firms have announced job cuts or hiring freeze in the past year amid the slowing growth, including Microsoft, Amazon, Meta Platforms Inc. and X, formerly Twitter.

Originally Appeared Here

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