News: YouTube lays off 100 employees; Pichai says expect more job cuts at Google in 2024

Strategic HR

YouTube lays off 100 employees; Pichai says expect more job cuts at Google in 2024

Google recently cut over a thousand jobs, spanning its core engineering division, Google Assistant, and augmented reality projects.
YouTube lays off 100 employees; Pichai says expect more job cuts at Google in 2024

On Wednesday, Google is set to reduce its workforce at YouTube by 100 employees, marking another round of gradual layoffs following the elimination of over a thousand jobs recently. 

Employees from YouTube's operations and creator management teams were informed of the job cuts through an email, revealed The New York Times. The total workforce at YouTube stood at 7,173 employees on Tuesday. 

“We’ve made the decision to eliminate some roles and say goodbye to some of our teammates. Anyone in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region who is or may be impacted will be notified by the end of day today,” YouTube’s chief business officer, Mary Ellen Coe, wrote in a note to employees at the organisation. 

YouTube employees affected by layoffs have a 60-day window to explore new roles within the company before their dismissals become official.

The job reductions, initially highlighted by the Tubefilter blog, predominantly impact teams providing assistance to the multitude of content creators on YouTube. Over the past year, YouTube has faced challenges in fully rebounding from an advertising slowdown and has grappled with robust competition from TikTok, the short-video platform that gained popularity among younger users. 

For over a year, Google has been actively seeking ways to reduce expenses and streamline its organisational structure. 

Last Thursday, the company implemented significant job cuts, affecting over a thousand positions across its core engineering division, the voice-operated product Google Assistant, and certain projects related to augmented reality—the technology blending the real world with digital overlays. 

“We’re responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead,” Andrea Faville, YouTube’s head of corporate communications, said in a statement. 

Various Google teams conducted layoffs and reorganisations in the second half of 2023, and “some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organisational changes, which include some role eliminations globally.” 

What did Sundar Pichai say? 

In a message to employees on Wednesday, Sundar Pichai, the Chief Executive Officer of Google, indicated that they should anticipate ongoing cuts throughout the remainder of the year, although not on the same scale as the substantial reductions witnessed last year. 

As of the end of September, the company reported a workforce exceeding 182,000 employees, a notable increase from 119,000 in December 2019. 

Approximately one year ago, Google initiated the process of reducing its workforce by about 6 per cent, equating to 12,000 individuals. As the new year unfolded, an employer once renowned for its luxurious perks now mirrors many of its counterparts in Silicon Valley. 

Who else laid off employees?

In recent weeks, several tech companies laid off employees. Discord, for instance, revealed plans to lay off 17 per cent of its workforce, equivalent to 170 individuals. Amazon implemented staff cuts across its Twitch streaming service, Prime Video, and MGM Studios, affecting hundreds of employees. Xerox announced a reduction of 15 per cent from its 23,000-person workforce, and Unity Software, a video game software provider, eliminated 25 per cent of its staff. 

What went wrong with YouTube? 

YouTube derives a significant portion of its revenue from advertisements featured before and during videos. However, the platform's consistent growth faced a setback due to an advertising slowdown that commenced in late 2022. 

The slowdown was triggered by the impact of rising inflation and interest rates, leading advertisers to cut back on their budgets. YouTube experienced a decline in revenue for multiple quarters, with the trend reversing in June, reported The New York Times. 

Nonetheless, ad sales have not yet surpassed their previous rate of growth. In response to these challenges, the platform has shifted its focus towards increasing subscriptions to YouTube TV, an alternative to traditional cable programming. 

This service now includes the National Football League's Sunday Ticket, providing access to various games on a weekly basis. Additionally, YouTube has highlighted that it has amassed over 80 million subscribers for its music streaming and ad-free video streaming services. 

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Topics: Strategic HR, #Layoffs, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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