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Top Google Real Estate Exec Departs After Nearly 2 Decades

Googleplex HQ at Mountain View, California

One of Google’s top real estate executives has left the company after nearly two decades.

Jay Bechtel, who was a senior corporate real estate executive, was laid off earlier this year, Silicon Valley Business Journal reported, citing two anonymous sources. Bechtel's LinkedIn page says he stopped working at Google in January.

Bechtel oversaw more than 30M SF in leasing activity and $20B in real estate transactions, including the company’s $1B acquisition of Yahoo Inc.’s former Sunnyvale offices and its $1B acquisition of LinkedIn’s Mountain View headquarters in 2018.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is planning to lay off 12,000 workers, a strategy many other tech companies have been pursuing after rapid hiring during the pandemic.

Last month, Alphabet said it would incur $500M in expenses in the first quarter as a result of leaving office space it occupies, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The company has 70 offices in 50 countries. It has a massive presence in California’s Bay Area but also has offices in cities like San Diego, Seattle, Atlanta, New York and Boston.

Despite the layoffs and cuts, Google is still moving forward with some major office growth plans. The tech giant plans to occupy a 585K SF adaptive reuse project at 10800 West Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles, known as One Westside. It also has plans to continue construction on an 800K SF 601 West Second St. office tower in downtown Austin.