Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, speaks on artificial intelligence during a Bruegel think tank conference in Brussels, Belgium, on Jan. 20, 2020.
Yves Herman | Reuters
In a memo titled “2024 priorities and the year ahead” that staffers received Wednesday evening, Pichai said, “we have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year.” In the memo, which was obtained by CNBC, Pichai said company leadership is gearing up to share its AI goals for the year this week and will publish its 2024 OKRs (objectives and key results).
“The reality is that to create the capacity for this investment, we have to make tough choices,” Pichai wrote. For some teams that means eliminating roles, which includes “removing layers to simplify execution and drive velocity,” he added.
The Verge was first to report on the memo. A Google spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pichai’s latest messaging signals continued cost cuts at Google following numerous rounds of layoffs that began in January of 2023, when the company announced it was eliminating 12,000 jobs, or roughly 6% of the full-time workforce. Google also cut back on some perks as well as laptops and equipment.
Pichai said in Wednesday’s memo that, “to be upfront, some teams will continue to make resource allocation decisions.” He said layoffs won’t be at the scale of last year’s reductions and “will not touch every team.”
Shares of Google parent Alphabet jumped 55% last year as tech stocks rallied following a brutal 2022, driven in part by excitement about AI. Revenue in the third quarter returned to double-digit growth alongside a rebound in the digital ad market.
Last month, Google launched its largest and most capable AI model, Gemini. In some tests, the model’s performance incrementally surpassed the GPT-4 model from OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT.
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