Google lays off 200 in sales and marketing

The changes affect workers globally

Proving that it is not immune to the economic downturn, Google plans to lay off 200 people in its sales and marketing group, an executive said on Thursday.

The changes affect workers globally, Omid Kordestani, Google Inc.'s senior vice president of global sales and business development wrote on the official Google blog. They will be given an unspecified amount of time to look for other positions in Google and will get severance packages if they don't find another job with the search company.

The layoffs will help Google correct some mistakes it made during a period when it grew rapidly, Kordestani said. As the company expanded, it sometimes created overlapping organizations, resulting in duplicated efforts and a more complicated decision-making process. "In addition, we over-invested in some areas in preparation for the growth trends we were experiencing at the time," he wrote.

The layoffs come just two weeks after the head of Google's North American and Latin American advertising sales and operations, Tim Armstrong, left the company to serve as chairman and CEO of AOL LLC.

The layoffs are not the first signal that Google is trying to trim expenses. In January, it laid off 100 recruiters and closed engineering offices in Texas, Norway and Sweden. This year it has also shut down services, including Jaiku, Dodgeball, Catalog Search, Google Notebook, the ability to upload to Google Video, and Google Print Ads.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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