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  • Parv Jain

Google Announces Job Cuts in Assistant and Hardware Divisions

Google Announces Job Cuts

Google has announced significant job cuts, affecting several of its key teams, including the Voice Assistant, hardware, and central engineering divisions. The layoffs are part of the tech giant's ongoing cost-cutting efforts.

Notably, the layoffs in the Voice Assistant unit will affect hundreds of employees. Similarly, the hardware team, which is responsible for developing Google's Pixel smartphones, Nest products, and Fitbit devices, is also facing a reduction of a few hundred roles. A major portion of the layoffs will occur in the augmented reality (AR) team, where the majority of positions are being eliminated.

Additionally, Google's central engineering team, a core part of the company's operations, will also see significant job impacts. The layoffs come amid broader cost-cutting measures as Google continues to streamline its operations and workforce.

The news also includes the departure of Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman from the company, marking a notable shift in Google's approach to its hardware and technological developments.

Google, which acquired the health and fitness tracking company Fitbit for $2.1 billion back in 2021, has been actively releasing new versions of its Pixel Watch. This product competes directly with Fitbit's devices as well as the Apple Watch.

In a recent development, Google has announced organizational changes across several of its teams. According to a Google spokesperson, these changes are aimed at increasing efficiency and better aligning resources with the company's top product priorities. As a result, some teams are undergoing restructuring, which unfortunately includes job cuts globally. These decisions are part of the tech giant's efforts to streamline operations throughout the second half of 2023. This statement was provided to Reuters by a spokesperson from Google.

Google has not disclosed the exact number of jobs affected by its recent layoffs. The exact size of the teams impacted, including the Google Assistant software team and others, remains unclear.

These changes within Google's organizational structure are happening during a period when tech giants, including Microsoft and Google, are increasingly focusing on generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology. This shift in focus comes in the wake of the success of OpenAI's ChatGPT, which has highlighted the potential of AI in various applications. As the industry adapts to these technological advancements, companies are reevaluating and restructuring their teams to better align with new priorities and innovations in AI.

Last year, Google revealed its intention to enhance its virtual assistant with generative AI features. This advanced AI technology would enable the assistant to assist users with various tasks, such as planning trips managing emails, and even engaging in follow-up conversations.

In a significant move, Alphabet, Google's parent company, announced in January 2023 its plan to reduce its workforce by 12,000 jobs. This reduction represents 6% of its global workforce, marking a substantial downsizing for the tech giant.

As of September 2023, Alphabet's global employee count stood at 182,381. This figure reflects the company's extensive reach and workforce before the announced job cuts.


Q1: Which areas in Google are affected by the layoffs?

The job cuts are in several areas, including the Google Assistant team, hardware team (like Pixel and Fitbit), augmented reality team, and the central engineering team.

Q2: How many people are losing their jobs at Google?

Google hasn't given an exact number, but it's a significant amount across various teams.

Q3: Is Google still working on AI technology?

Yes, Google is still investing in AI technology, especially in making the Google Assistant more advanced.


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