Big Tech layoffs hit Amazon’s drones, Halo developers and Google’s incubators hard.


Google’s decision to lay off 12,000 employees was only announced on Friday, but it extends the recent trend of “big tech” companies cutting jobs by previously unheard of numbers, and we now have more insight into where these cuts are coming from. I saw the report. .

Information Google reports layoffs spreading to just about every group, including projects like Chrome, Search, Android and Google Cloud. Its source said they previously had “high performance reviews” and affected some managers with earnings ranging from $500,000 to $1 million.

But one area of ​​the search and advertising giant that was “relatively unaffected” was the Google Brain division, run by Jeff Dean, senior vice president of research and artificial intelligence. A team that develops machine learning technologies that Google is already using in many fields. According to New York TimesIts work will be applied to a number of products that we are known to see at the I/O event in May, including an image creation tool, a YouTube green screen feature, and a chatbot version of it at some point this year. search engine.

check on google Bloomberg “The decision has been made to disband the majority of the Area 120 team.” Named after Google’s famous but long-dormant policy of allowing employees 20% of their time to work on side projects, the incubator has already seen massive cuts affecting half of its projects late last year. The company said three projects were folded by Google and the rest appear to have disappeared.

At Microsoft, where 10,000 people are laid off polygon It points to reports of the impact on several game development studios and reactions from some former employees. According to Bloombergthere was a cut starfield Developer Bethesda and journalist Jason Schreier said in a tweet its halo Studio 343 Industries was said to have been “hit hard.” at the same time, Kotaku The Coalition gears of war Games were also affected.

Another cut hit Microsoft’s mixed reality team. report Bloomberg Indicates layoffs affected some employees using HoloLens headsets. This is a potential side effect of Congress rejecting the Army’s request to purchase up to 6,900 headsets based on the HoloLens platform. Microsoft is also shutting down the AltspaceVR virtual reality-based social platform it acquired in 2017, as well as employees of Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Toolkit team. say they have all fired.

Amazon confirmed a few months ago that the layoffs included jobs in the devices and services sector. Then, in early January, hardware chief Dave Limp told CNBC’s TechCheck that nearly 2,000 employees in his department, which is home to products like Alexa and Echo smart home devices, were affected by the cuts. Projects identified as deleted included video calling devices for children and telemedicine services.

CNBC this week reported that the layoffs include a “significant number” of employees working on the Prime Air drone delivery project at multiple sites, including the headquarters and Pendleton, Oregon test site, according to a LinkedIn post that has since been deleted. First announced by Jeff Bezos in 2013, the program is seeing these cuts as it begins testing in a few cities and prepares to launch its next-generation MK30 drone, which will follow up the initial MK27-2 units shown above.

Amazon declined to tell CNBC how many people were fired.

Update, 12:30 PM EST: Updated to note the closure of AltspaceVR and other layoffs in Microsoft’s mixed reality division.


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