Google Retrenches Around 190 Staff In Singapore
SINGAPORE – Three insiders revealed that Google fired around 190 of its employees working at its Asia Pacific headquarters in the city-state on Thursday, which makes up around 6 percent of the search giant’s overall manpower in Singapore, reported Channel NewsAsia on Friday evening (17 February, SGT).
One of the insiders, a staff member who was impacted by the retrenchment, said it’s difficult to confirm the exact numbers of people laid off in Singapore.
“Folks are trying to piece it together by talking to others,” explained the former Google employee.
The two other insiders comprise a current Google staff and Christopher Fong, who established the global Xoogler community for workers who previously worked at the search giant.
A Google representative said it was unable to disclose the exact number of staff members in Singapore who were affected by the retrenchment, but verified they were part of layoffs announced earlier by Google’s parent firm Alphabet.
In January 2023, Alphabet announced that it plans to slash 12,000 jobs or around 6 percent of its global labour force.
Fong told the news outlet that the retrenchment impacted staff from different divisions, including legal, sales, finance, recruiting, Google Pay, and Google Cloud. He said some staff expected to be let go as their counterpart teams in other parts of the globe were impacted.
The layoffs at Google occurred amidst thousands of retrenchments at other tech giants that are downsizing after ramping up their hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic, which left them bloated during a slower global economy.
In November 2022, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng told Singapore lawmakers that 1,270 local workers in the tech industry were laid off between July to mid-November 2022. Among tech firms that cut jobs here last year were Twitter, Shopee, and Facebook’s parent company Meta.