These changes were part of organisational shifts aimed at enhancing efficiency, a Google spokesperson said

The logo of Google is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 25, 2018. —Reuters

Google has initiated substantial layoffs, mostly affecting divisions like core engineering, hardware responsible for Pixel and Fitbit devices, and the team behind Google Assistant. 

The New York Times and Semafor initially reported the layoffs, which have now been officially confirmed by Google. The core engineering team faced significant reductions, with notices and loss of system access for "several hundred" workers, as reported by the New York Times.

Simultaneously, Google's devices and services team, responsible for designing smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness trackers, underwent restructuring on Monday, resulting in the elimination of hundreds of roles, according to 9to5Google.

The restructuring also impacted Google Assistant, the company's competitor to Apple's Siri and Amazon Alexa. The layoffs from this division were described as part of a broader plan to integrate newer artificial intelligence technology into the service.

A Google spokesperson, in response to the layoffs, stated to Forbes that these changes were part of organisational shifts aimed at enhancing efficiency, better collaboration, and aligning resources with the company's core product priorities. The spokesperson emphasised the company's commitment to supporting affected employees in finding new roles within Google or elsewhere.

This move follows Google's layoffs at the beginning of 2023, where approximately 12,000 employees, constituting around six percent of the workforce, were let go. 

The decision, made amidst concerns of a global economic downturn post a Covid-19 induced hiring boom, drew criticism from CEO Sundar Pichai, who admitted that the layoffs could have been handled more effectively in an internal meeting in December.

In the broader context of the tech industry, Google's job cuts align with similar actions taken by Amazon, Twitch, and Unity, indicating a broader trend of workforce reductions in the sector.

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