Google Inc parent Alphabet Inc is the latest company to announce massive layoffs as global firms resort to cost-cutting amid weak earnings guidance in the wake of the global downturn.

Like its peers Microsoft, Meta and Amazon, Google has also decided to slash 6% of its total workforce or around 12,000 jobs globally, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post on Friday. The layoffs will affect Google's teams across the company i.e. from engineering to product to corporate and recruiting verticals.

"I have some difficult news to share. We’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles. We’ve already sent a separate email to employees in the US who are affected. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices," Pichai wrote.

The Google CEO said over the past two years, the company saw periods of dramatic growth. "To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today."

He said the company has undertaken a "rigorous" review across product areas and functions so employees and roles are aligned with its highest priorities. "The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions."

Google says it will pay employees during the full notification period (minimum 60 days); and offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks' salary, plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting. The company will also pay the year 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time, 6 months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected. For those outside the US, the affected staff will be supported in line with local practices.

Pichai said as Google sharpens its focus on the highest priorities, it'll allow the company to bet big on areas like AI. He said Google will soon share "some entirely new experiences" for users, developers and businesses.

Tech majors have been shedding workforce at a rapid pace to contain costs amid changing global dynamics and slow demand. The layoffs at Google come two days after Microsoft Corp announced a slashing of 10,000 employees — about 5% of its workforce. The US-based tech giant is looking to cut costs amid the looming threat of a global recession. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said the company will align its cost structure with revenue and where it sees customer demand. The layoffs will result in a charge of $1.2 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2023. “We are taking a $1.2B charge in Q2 related to severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation as we create higher density across our workspaces,” Nadella said.

Jeff Bezos-led Amazon recently announced layoffs of over 18,000 workers, starting January 18, 2023. A majority of role eliminations are in Amazon Stores and People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organisations. Before this, the Seattle-based online retailer sacked staff across its devices and books businesses.

Social media behemoth Meta last year sacked 11,000 employees or 13% of its workforce last year. Microblogging platform Twitter, which is now owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, sacked 50% of its workforce and is planning to slash its workforce further. Snap, the parent company of the social media platform Snapchat, sacked 20% of its staff. HP Inc. also said it is planning to axe 4,000-6,000 jobs by the end of fiscal 2025 as the computer maker looks to cut costs by reducing its global headcount. Software major Salesforce fired around 1,000 employees due to the economic downturn.

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