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Friday, 16 January 2009

Google to cut jobs, close office

NEW YORK - GOOGLE Inc. is closing three engineering offices and cutting 100 recruiters from its work force as the recession dampens hiring at the Internet search company.

'Given the state of the economy, we recognised that we needed fewer people focused on hiring,' Mr Laszlo Bock, a Google vice president, wrote in a blog posting late Wednesday announcing the layoffs.

The moves follows news last week of a government filing from Google showing a significant cutback in temporary employees aimed at trimming costs. The company acknowledged in November that it would be looking to reduce contract workers while retaining full-time employees.

In a separate posting Wednesday, Google said it would close its engineering offices in Austin, Texas; Trondheim, Norway; and Lulea, Sweden. The company said the closings would affect 70 workers.

'Our strong desire is to keep as many of these 70 engineering employees at Google as possible,' wrote Google's vice president for engineering and research, Alan Eustace.

'Our long-term goal is not to trim the number of people we have working on engineering projects or reduce our global presence, but create a smaller number of more effective engineering sites, which will ensure that innovation and speed remain at our core,' he wrote.

Google's revenue from online ads, the company's core business, is still growing but the economic downturn has put a crimp in the pace as consumers shop less online and advertising budgets shrink.

The company has given no sign that it will cut back on research and development or acquisitions but has taken steps recently to reduce discretionary spending, closing its free cafeteria for employees and offering workers more modest holiday gifts. -- AP

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