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Google Announces Layoffs Across Flutter, Dart, and Python Teams Ahead of I/O Conference

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 2, 2024
Google Announces Layoffs Across Flutter, Dart, and Python Teams Ahead of I/O Conference

Google Announces Layoffs Across Flutter, Dart, and Python Teams Ahead of I/O Conference

Google has recently announced layoffs affecting several key teams, including those working on Flutter, Dart, Python, and other technologies. This development comes as a precursor to the company’s annual I/O developer conference scheduled for May.

Reports from employees who were affected by this decision surfaced on social media, and although Google has confirmed the layoffs, details regarding the specific teams, roles, and the number of employees affected have not been fully disclosed.

According to Google spokesperson Alex García-Kummert, these layoffs are part of a strategic realignment to focus on major priorities and reduce inefficiencies. “We’re simplifying our structures to give employees more opportunity to work on our most innovative and important advances and our biggest company priorities, while reducing bureaucracy and layers,” García-Kummert explained.

Despite the layoffs, affected employees will have opportunities to apply for other roles within the company. The restructuring is described by Google not as company-wide layoffs but as standard organizational adjustments that occur regularly in business operations.

Community Reaction to the Layoffs

Employees on platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit have expressed mixed feelings about the layoffs. Kevin Moore, a Project Manager for Flutter and Dart, noted on Reddit that while the layoffs have impacted many teams, the projects like Flutter and Dart continue to move forward. “You’re nervous. I get it. We get it. You’re betting on Flutter and Dart. So am I. So is Google,” Moore wrote, trying to reassure the community of the ongoing commitment to these projects.

Additionally, there is specific concern within the Python community, especially among those managing internal Python runtimes and toolchains. Notably, this group included key individuals such as current and former core developers and steering council members.

On Hacker News, a platform frequented by tech enthusiasts and professionals, a Python team member shared their personal experience, emphasizing the strong work/life balance and the small, dedicated team’s efforts despite challenges like understaffing and internal technical debt.

Furthermore, a WARN notice filed by Google on April 24 indicated that the company is laying off 50 employees across three locations in Sunnyvale, under the requirements of the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which mandates a 60-day notice for such actions.

According to CNBC, Google’s “Core” teams, encompassing roles in Python, app platforms, and various engineering positions, saw a collective reduction of 200 employees. The report states that certain positions are being relocated to India and Mexico, based on internal documents.

The layoffs have sparked discussions regarding the implications for Python’s role in AI development, with some community members concerned about the future of Python tooling at Google. However, it was mentioned that the Python team would be replaced by another team based in Munich, which has led to mixed reactions among the employees who are being asked to transition their roles to the new team.

Google has committed to supporting all affected employees by providing time to find new roles within or outside of the company, as well as access to outplacement services and severance packages.

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Featured Image courtesy of Sundry Photography/Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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