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Google to lay off 100 recruiters, close engineering offices

The Web search giant says it needs to make cuts in the face of a broad advertising slowdown.

January 15, 2009|Chris Gaither

SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc., the company that always seems to be hiring, has finally started firing.

And it's beginning with the people responsible for the hiring.

The Web search giant, which went from a dorm-room start-up to nearly 25,000 employees in a decade, said Wednesday that it planned to let go about 100 recruiters.

It also intends to shutter three engineering offices.

In the face of a broad advertising slowdown, Google had slowed its hiring and eliminated most of the contractors it used to find and recruit people.

"After much consideration, we have with great regret decided that we need to go further," Laszlo Bock, Google's vice president of people operations, wrote in a post on the company's official blog.

The cuts were first reported by gossip website Valleywag.

The cuts were not the Mountain View, Calif., company's first: In addition to severing ties with many of its independent contractors, it had laid off 300 employees whose jobs were deemed redundant after the acquisition of DoubleClick Inc., the New York online advertising concern it acquired for $3.1 billion.

Google also said Wednesday that it was closing engineering offices in Austin, Texas; Trondheim, Norway; and Lulea, Sweden. Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research, said he hoped to retain the 70 employees who worked there.

Google shut down its Phoenix office in September, and that, Eustace said, allowed the company to "build larger and more effective teams, reduce communication overhead and give engineers increased options for future projects."

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chris.gaither@latimes.com

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