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Job cuts at Google, Twitter and Goldman Sachs

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The Alphabet division that operates Google Fiber is laying off or reassigning about 9% of its staff as well as putting expansion plans to provide fibre internet in several US cities on ice.

Google Fiber chief Craig Barratt is also stepping down from his post and will remain only as an advisor. The changes were announced in a blog post by Barratt.

“For most of our ‘potential Fibre cities’ – those where we’ve been in exploratory discussions – we’re going to pause our operations and offices while we refine our approaches. In this handful of cities that are still in an exploratory stage, and in certain related areas of our supporting operations, we’ll be reducing our employee base,” he wrote in the blog post.

Although the blog post did not confirm the number of job cuts, a source familiar with the company’s plans confirmed with Ars Technica that 9% of the Alphabet “access” division that operates Google Fiber will have their roles eliminated.

Twitter announced on Thursday it would slash 9% of its workforce, or about 350 jobs. The job cuts will come mainly from sales, partnerships and the marketing organisation, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The cost-cutting moves, which include shutting down its Vine video app, come as Twitter reported dwindling revenue growth for the third quarter and another loss over US$100 million. Revenue rose just 8.2% compared with the more than 50% growth in the year-ago quarter.

In addition to the company’s gloomy outlook, chief executive Jack Dorsey and board members of Twitter recently had a lawsuit filed against them by a share holder over the inflated share price. The complaint, filed in a California federal court by shareholder Jim Porter, accused Dorsey and other executives of concealing facts about Twitter’s slow user growth, and selling their personal stock holdings “for hundreds of millions of dollars in insider profits”.

Porter is seeking to force Dorsey and others, including former CEO Dick Costolo and founder and board member, Evan Williams, to repay profits they have made since February 2015, and to shake up the board and impose new financial controls.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs announced on Monday it would cut 20 employees in its New York office, extending the bank’s deepest personnel cuts since the financial crisis, The New York Post reports.

Observers pointed out that Goldman Sachs had disclosed to New York state regulators seven different instances of job cuts this year, while laying off 443 people.

New York state law requires companies file a notice with the state when they cut jobs, and if those job cuts total 250 or more, they have to notify the state of “mass layoffs”.

By letting people go by the dozens, like Goldman Sachs has done, rather than the hundreds, keeps it from having to notify regulators of “mass layoffs”.

It is worth noting Goldman Sachs has shed the highest number of employees this year since 2008, when it laid off 900 people.

ALSO READ: Ex-Nest employee sues Google for firing him

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