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Google owner Alphabet to axe 12,000 jobs

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Google parent company Alphabet is cutting 12,000 jobs, its chief executive said, according to a staff memo seen by the Reuters news agency.

The job cuts will take place worldwide and begin immediately in the US, Google said, affecting teams across the company including engineering, products teams and recruitment.

CEO Sundar Pichai told employees the company had grown in staffing numbers to a level that prepared it “for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”

“I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.

“I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI,” he wrote.

The search engine giant’s bid to axe around 6% of its workforce makes it the latest major US tech company to let go of a large portion of its staff after Microsoft said it was laying off 10,000 employees earlier this week and Amazon said it was cutting 18,000 jobs earlier in January.

There have been close to 40,000 tech layoffs since the start of the year, according to redundancy tracking site layoffs.fyi.

Google said it would offer its US staff a everance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, as well as accelerated vesting of their stock options, with similar measures being offered to workers outside the US.

Google has 5,701 staff in the UK, according to its most recent filing with Companies House, which could mean over 300 staff could be fired if the UK workforce is cut by 6%. Its parent company, Alphabet, had 186,779 staff worldwide according to its most recent filing with the US securities regulator.

A Google spokesperson could not confirm details on the scale of layoffs in the UK.

Shares in Alphabet climbed 2.4% on the back of the