Google conducted massive layoffs last year, which is going to cost the company billions of dollars in severance packages and costs related to layoffs.
More specifically, Alphabet's earnings report for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023 stated the company was expecting to shell out $700 million in severance costs this quarter. Alphabet, Google's parent company, continued with the layoffs at the company behind the world's largest search engine, with additional layoffs occurring in January 2024 that amounted to hundreds of workers across core engineering and hardware teams.
Furthermore, Google conducted layoffs in January 2023, and according to Business Insider, the company "recorded employee severance and related charges of $2.1 billion for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023." During this time period, in January 2023, the company laid off 6% of its total workforce, or 12,000 employees. Affected staff or former staff, were paid during the 60-day-minimum WARN notification period, with the offer of severance of at least 16 weeks' salary + two weeks of severance for every year they worked at the company.
"Over the past two years we've seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today," said CEO Sundar Pichai to staff in a memo at the time of layoffs
Furthermore, the former employees also had accelerated restricted stock units vesting and paid out any remaining bonuses and vacation time. Lastly, Google's earnings report stated the company pulled in $86.3 billion in revenue just in Q4, which is an increase of 13% year-over-year. For the fiscal year, the company reported a $307.4 billion, an increase of 9% year-over-year.