30,000 Google jobs at risk as AI replaces ad sales staff

  • Google is planning to restructure its 30,000 ad sales employees with the potential for job cuts.
  • AI has increasingly taken over roles that human staff were performing at Google.
  • The company already shed 12,000 jobs in January of this year.

Employees in Google’s ad sales division are fearing their jobs may be on the line as the company’s AI integration makes many of their roles redundant.

According to a report by The Information, Google plans to restructure its ad sales unit which is made up of around 30,000 employees. The company has been pushing to integrate AI into its advertising tools to make it easier for advertisers to use its marketing platforms.

In 2021 Google introduced its Performance Max campaign planner which uses AI to automatically optimise for the best placements of an advertiser’s content.

Previously, ad sales staff would engage with advertisers to sell them on alternate platforms like YouTube, Gmail, or its Display ads. Now, Performance Max is a set-and-forget solution that automatically manages the placements.

Google’s advertising tools have also recently begun integrating generative AI solutions that automatically suggest and create ads for advertisers. As these tools become easier to use, advertisers rely less and less on support from Google’s ad staff.

For now, the talk has just been about restructuring but the move will almost certainly result in at least some job losses. In January Google shed 12,000 jobs as it refocused its resources on AI projects.

At the time Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said that the reason behind the job cuts was that the company faced a “different economic reality.”

If that was true at the beginning of 2023, how much more so 12 months later? The advent of AI enterprise tools like Google’s Duet and Microsoft’s Copilot has changed the reality of how companies run their businesses.

White-collar office staff in sales and admin are likely to continue seeing their jobs under threat as companies see the advantage of integrating AI into their operations.

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