Google lays off hundreds of sales staff – with rumors that business advertising deals “go AI”

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Jan 17, 2024

Having cut thousands of jobs in 2023, Google has already started culling workers in 2024, with AI reportedly to blame for the most recent move.

Following around 1,000 job losses earlier this month, Google now looks to be targeting its advertising business, which has been streamlined and optimized by artificial intelligence.

At the end of 2023, TechRadar Pro reported that Google had been considering cutting advertising jobs, and the company has now confirmed that this is true.

AI is replacing some workers at Google

At that time, Google did not respond to our request for comment on the potential for job losses as a result of AI in the company. Now, though, Google spokesperson Chris Pappas confirmed that “a few hundred roles globally are being eliminated” (via The Verge).

Last year, it was reported that Google had a 30,000-strong ad sales group, but the deployment of AI tools has effectively boosted the productivity and efficiency of both workers and customers. Unless Google’s ad business suddenly picks up, the potential for large-scale layoffs could be frightening.

Currently, “a few hundred” are at risk. Assuming that’s around 300 words, it equates to around 1% of the current ad unit headcount.

Layoffs earlier this month targeted a few different divisions (via The Verge), including some engineers and others working on Google Assistant. The job cuts were positioned as “changes to become more efficient and work better.”

According to a separate report by SiliconAngle, a Google employee wrote on the company’s internal meme board: “Thank you, our corporate overlords, for our new annual tradition” – a clear reference to the fact that the company made similar layoffs in January 2023.

TechRadar Pro has asked Google to comment on the job cuts affecting its ads unit, but the company did not immediately respond.

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