ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Google said set to start laying off employees in Israel in coming days

The US tech giant employs about 2,000 people in Haifa and Tel Aviv, working across data mining and game theory teams, and other R&D activity, as well as sales and marketing

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

This file photo taken on February 14, 2020, shows the US multinational technology and internet-related services company Google logo in Brussels. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)
This file photo taken on February 14, 2020, shows the US multinational technology and internet-related services company Google logo in Brussels. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

Google is said to plan to lay off several employees in Israel, as the US tech giant is trimming staff around the world.

In the coming days, Google is expected to start the process of laying off employees, including senior executives, according to reports in the Hebrew press, citing sources close to the Alphabet-owned company. A spokeswoman for Google in Israel declined to comment on the reports.

Google has had R&D activity in Israel since 2005, and employs about 2,000 workers in Haifa and Tel Aviv, with teams tackling machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, cloud networking and machine perception challenges, as well as sales and marketing.

The layoffs in Israel come as Google has let go of over 1,000 employees across various teams globally since the start of the month, and is expected to follow with more cuts in the coming months.

“As we’ve said, we are responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead,” a Google spokesperson said in e-mailed comments. “To best position us for these opportunities, throughout the second half of 2023, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, and to align their resources to their biggest product priorities.”

“Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally,” the spokesperson added.

This time around, the scale of the streamlining is not expected to be in the magnitude of last year’s downsizing round. Back in January 2023, Google’s parent company Alphabet cut its workforce worldwide by 6 percent, affecting about 12,000 jobs across product areas, functions and regions.

Over the years, the tech giant has bought and invested in a number of Israeli companies and startups, including the $1 billion purchase of navigation app Waze, threat detection firm Siemplify, cloud storage firm Elastifile, cybersecurity company Cybereason and data migration company Alooma.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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