About 27 masseuses who worked for Google lost their jobs as part of the company’s largest-ever round of layoffs.
Google was cutting more than 1,800 California employees, about 1.5 percent of whom were on-site massage therapists who would provide services to staff as a reward for good work.
These first layoffs were filed on the same day that CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, announced it would cut 12,000 employees – about 6 percent of the workforce.
Of the 1,845 initial cuts, 1,436 involved employees at the company’s Mountain View headquarters, while another 119 were in San Bruno, where Google-owned YouTube is located.
A total of 177 took place in LA, most of them on the company’s Playa Vista campus, and another 60 in Irvine. The Palo Alto office also saw 53 cuts, according to CNBC.
Two dozen masseuses worked in Mountain View and another three in LA and Irvine.
Google was cutting more than 1,800 California employees, about 1.5 percent of whom were on-site massage therapists. Pictured is a massage room on the Mountain View campus
CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, announced it would cut a total of 12,000 employees – about 6 percent of the workforce
Google and other California tech companies like Amazon and Meta are known for their unconventional campuses that offer employees quirky perks like juice bars and spas.
Google employees were known for being rewarded for good work with “massage credits,” which could be used to redeem employee massages on campus.
“As a company of almost 25 years, we will certainly go through difficult economic cycles. These are key times to sharpen our focus, redesign our cost base and focus our talent and capital on our top priorities,” said Pichai.
Staff at Google’s California facilities are expected to leave their jobs in March, in compliance with state law that gives employees a minimum notice period of 60 days.
This round of layoffs at Google is part of a streak that has hit the entire tech industry and comes just days after rival Microsoft said it would lay off 10,000 employees and Amazon began laying off 18,000.
Of the 1,845 initial cuts in California, 1,436 employees at the company’s Mountain View headquarters
The layoff news was particularly dramatic for Microsoft. The company said in a regulatory filing it would request a $1.2 billion restructuring charge, which the company said would come “in response to macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities.”
In a memo to employees, CEO Satya Nadella said the layoffs, which will affect nearly 5 percent of the workforce, would begin immediately and end at the end of March.
“We’re also seeing organizations in every industry and region be cautious as some parts of the world are in recession and others are anticipating it,” Nadella said in the memo.
Last week, thousands of Amazon employees woke up to a brutal email from their employer informing them that their position had been “eliminated” effective immediately.
Shortly after the Seattle-based company sent out the emails, many employees’ access to work computers and offices was also cut off, Business Insider revealed.
The job losses come at a time of economic uncertainty. For the tech sector, the pandemic boom turned into a post-pandemic crisis, as rising interest rates weighed on stock prices and inflation pushed earnings down. The economic pressure is compounded by the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Just seven major tech companies have seen a total of nearly 70,000 job cuts in recent months: Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, Salesforce, HP and Twitter
These cuts also come because companies such as Google and Microsoft have counted heavily on major investments in artificial intelligence.
Pichai said in a note announcing Google’s cuts, “I am confident in the tremendous opportunity ahead of us through the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI.”
Nadella echoed a similar sentiment as expressed in his memo to Microsoft staff. “The next big wave of computing is being born with advancements in AI as we turn the world’s most advanced models into a new computing platform,” he said.
These technical layoffs represent a shift in the labor market and increased demand for workers. Walmart announced Tuesday that it would raise the minimum wage for all workers from $12 to $14 an hour.
Last week, music streaming platform Spotify let go 588 of its 9,800 employees as the company saw advertisers pull back spending.