Google sent shockwaves through the tech sector last week when news of an abrupt email on Friday morning reached the masses, indicating that nearly 12,000 employees would be laid off from the company in the largest set of mass layoffs ever. the history of the company.
Employees at all levels reported immediately losing access to Google employee systems, finding their accounts frozen and devices locked with little to no explanation as to what was happening.
On Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai hosted a meeting with all Google employees in an attempt to address workers’ concerns and questions about sudden layoffs and the future of the company going forward.
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“I understand that you’re worried about what’s next for your job,” Pichai told employees over the phone. CNBC. “Also very saddened by the loss of some really good colleagues across the company. For those of you outside of the US, the delay in being able to make and communicate decisions about roles in your region is certainly causing anxiety.”
Chief of staff Fiona Cicconi told listeners that factors such as “time in the role where experience or relationships are relevant and important” played a role in deciding who would be cut, along with other standard factors such as skill set, performance history, and compliance quotas.
Pichai admitted that he had miscalculated the lack of growth that followed after a massive hiring push for the company.
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If Google had continued to grow as predicted at the end of 2021, Pichai explained, the hiring momentum would have positioned the company to continue to succeed in its industry rather than being forced to “fall behind in many areas.”
Meanwhile, employees called for accountability, with a question saying “accountability without consequences seems like an empty platitude,” and asked Pichai what exactly the executives planned to do.
Offering limited details, Pichai said senior executives would receive a “very significant reduction in their annual bonus” and that these bonuses would be assessed based on company performance, as many of these employees own Performance Stock Units. that can “reduce [their] capital grants if performance is not great.
Google came out of an extremely strong 2021, with revenue up 41% year-over-year, Pichai said at the meeting.
However, the third quarter of 2022 showed signs of trouble on the horizon. Revenue growth rose 6% compared to 41% in the same period last year, and Pichai alluded to future layoffs, saying employees could expect “headcount to shrink” in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Our actions to slow the pace of hiring will become more apparent in 2023,” he said at the time.
Google’s parent company Alphabet is expected to announce fourth-quarter 2022 earnings on February 2.