Big TechAnalysis

Google the latest to cut jobs in brutal winter for tech

Some companies have also opted to pause hiring as they grapple with headwinds in global economy

Google owner Alphabet’s move to cut 6 per cent of its directly employed staff globally makes it the latest tech giant to slash its headcount in what has become a brutal time for the industry.

In an email to staff sent earlier on Friday, the company said it would shed 12,000 jobs, equivalent to about 6 per cent of its workforce, across all areas, functions and regions of the business.

It is not yet known how Google’s Irish workforce will be affected. The company did not comment on the potential losses here.

Google employs more than 9,000 including temporary staff and contractors in Ireland, and occupies several office buildings in the Silicon Docks area of Dublin. The tech giant is due to meet staff in the coming days to discuss the impact of the cuts.


The tech giant is the latest to announce job losses, and follows news that Microsoft is shedding 10,000 roles globally.

Amazon is also set to begin a round of lay-offs ultimately affecting more than 18,000 employees in the largest job cull in its history, which it announced in recent months.

The cuts come as the retailer grapples with slowing online sales growth and braces for a possible recession affecting the spending power of its customers.

Amazon employs some 5,000 people in the State, but there have been no indications to date that substantial cuts to the Irish operation are likely.

Meta, Twitter, Stripe, Microsoft, and Zendesk have all moved to cut staff or freeze hiring in recent months, along with a host of other firms.

If Meta’s cuts were extrapolated across the Irish business, that would equate to about 390 lay-offs, although that figure may be higher.

About 6,000 contractors also work at the owner of Instagram and WhatsApp in Ireland. While the company made clear they are not included in 13 per cent rate, they are not directly employed by Meta. The third-parties that employ those contractors would make any required lay-offs.

Meta’s move came less than a week after smaller rival Twitter began laying off its Irish staff on as part of a global cost-cutting plan.

Irish-founded fintech Stripe said it would cut 14 per cent of its staff worldwide amid the slowdown. “We over-hired for the world we’re in, and it pains us to be unable to deliver the experience that we hoped that those impacted would have at Stripe,” chief executive Patrick Collison told staff.

Those cuts will return Stripe’s staffing level to about what it was in February 2022, he added. It employs between 500 and 600 staff in Dublin, with about 80 jobs expected to go.

Zendesk, which has offices in Dublin, plans to cut 5 per cent of staff globally.

There are also fears for jobs at Intel’s Irish business after the chip giant pledged to cut costs in an effort to weather a persistent slump in computer demand that is dragging down sales and profit and obstructing its turnaround efforts.

The impact of the global cuts on the company’s 5,000-strong workforce in Ireland is not yet known, nor is the potential impact on future hiring. A spokeswoman for the company said the cuts would be decided based on business groups rather than geographical location.

Amazon is also pausing “new incremental hiring” across its corporate workforce. It has effectively stopped recruiting for new roles companywide, broadening a pullback in hiring that had already affected various teams, including the profitable advertising business. That announcement doesn’t apply to frontline jobs in the operations and transportation groups, where hundreds of thousands of hourly workers pack and ship items.

PayPal recently announced plans to cut a total of 307 jobs from its Irish operations in Dundalk and Dublin. Staff in Dundalk and Dublin were informed, some during a Microsoft Teams call, of what was proposed. Up to 172 of the roles affected were in Dundalk, with the rest in Dublin. Some work was relocated, possibly to Asia, while other positions were being axed.

While Irish-founded Intercom announced a small number of job losses in Ireland at the start of September, the company is still hiring for key roles in its Irish-based engineering hub.

Social media group Snap is cutting a fifth of its 6,500-strong global workforce as it battles a slump in advertising.

Elsewhere, Klarna, Shopify and Peloton have all announced they would cut back on staff in recent months.

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is also continuing to hire. “LinkedIn employs over 2,000 staff in Ireland, and we are continuing to hire for key roles in our Dublin office,” a spokesperson for the company said.