In a recent report, concerns have been raised about Google’s potential restructuring, which could result in the layoff of approximately 30,000 employees.

The looming job cuts follow last year’s massive layoff where 12,000 employees were let go, marking the largest layoff in the company’s history.

The anticipated layoffs are attributed to Google’s strategic response to the increasing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in its operations, particularly within the ad sales department.

Speculations arose after discussions during a department-wide Google Ads meeting hinted at significant job displacement in the ad sales and customer service units.

Which roles are most at risk?

A report from The Information revealed that Google plans to automate certain roles within these departments, citing recent AI developments as the catalyst for the impending changes. The company’s move towards AI-powered ads, featuring conversational ads, is expected to reshape the workforce in the ad sales unit, affecting around 30,000 employees.

The AI ads initiative by Google aims to leverage artificial intelligence for tasks such as scanning websites, automatically generating keywords, creating headlines, images, and other elements of advertisements. This development aligns with the broader trend of AI tools gaining prominence in recent years, with Google’s AI division actively researching and implementing various AI-driven solutions to enhance company operations.

CEO Sundar Pichai, reflecting on the significant layoffs from the previous year, acknowledged the impact on morale within the company. Pichai defended the decision, stating that the layoffs were a difficult but necessary measure. He emphasised that without the layoffs, the company would have faced challenges in adapting to the shifting landscape and making essential investments in key areas.

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.