3 min

Update 30/04/2024 Google has confirmed that it has laid off employees. While it did not specify the number of people involved, nor the roles and teams, it appears it indeed concerns the Python team —as well as other teams.

Business units such as Flutter and Dart have also seen layoffs, Techcrunch reports. Flutter is a UI toolkit, and Dart is the programming language mostly used for building apps in that same Flutter.

According to Google, the layoffs are part of ‘restructuring’ to improve efficiency and better align available resources with key priorities. Employees who lose their jobs can apply for other job openings within Google.

Mandatory 60-day notice

Some of the layoffs have been confirmed because of WARN laws in place in the U.S. state of California, WARN stands for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification and requires employers with more than one hundred employees to give their staff mandatory sixty days’ notice of impending layoffs.

In Google’s case, this would involve fifty employees in Sunnyvale, where Google is headquartered. This notification was filed on April 24, meaning the employees would remain employed until June 23 at the latest.

Original It seems that Google has fired the team that managed the Python ecosystem within the company. This was reported by several sources, including social media accounts of (former) employees of the company.

It is said to be a small team whose employees are being replaced by a team operating out of Munich. Several social media accounts report the layoffs, including here, here and here.

The American Python team operating from California’s Sunnyvale (home of Google) maintained Python versions in use at the company, updated third-party packages, and made them suitable for use in Google systems. It also produced a typechecker called pytype to improve the reliability of the code used. Although it is only a small team, the layoffs are notable because Python is widely used in training AI models.

Tip: US tech giants find it hard to lay off European workers

Hefty rounds of layoffs promised

Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned in an internal memo earlier this year that there would be hefty layoffs at various parts of the company. “We have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year. […] The reality is that to create the capacity for this investment, we have to make tough choices,” Pichai stated.

He put his money where his mouth was and began a significant round of layoffs in the same month. These cutbacks came hot on the heels of a series of layoffs at the end of 2023, both at Google and other Alphabet subsidiaries. Recently, Google parent company Alphabet sent home a significant amount of its staff in the finance and real estate departments.

Like other tech companies, Google wants to spend more money on AI development. While it needs staff to do that, it has to fund the payroll costs for such positions. This means cutting jobs that would not contribute to technological innovation.

Google also recently fired 28 employees who had participated in sit-ins at Its offices in New York and Sunnyvale. The employees were protesting the company’s agreement with the Israeli government to provide cloud computing services.

Also read: Google moves part of operations and lays off employees once more