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Sundar Pichai Defends Google Layoffs, Says Needed to Act 'Decisively and Early'

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Last Updated: January 24, 2023, 14:31 IST

New Delhi, India

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (File Photo: AFP)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (File Photo: AFP)

Before the job cut announcement, Google had made the decision to pay out 80% of bonuses in January with the remaining expected in March or April.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that decision of layoffs was taken after consultation with the founders and controlling shareholders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, as well as the board of directors.

Pichai, who is facing a backlash for mass layoffs, spoke to employees in an internal meeting on January 23.

Pichai addressed concerns after the recent layoffs that saw close to 12,000 staffers losing their jobs.

Google had announced that it will be eliminating nearly 12,000 jobs to adjust to the slowness in the company’s growth.

Pichai and other senior executives of the company said 750 senior leaders were involved in the process to determine who would be laid off.

Defending the move, Pichai added that the if the decisive steps were not taken, problems would have compounded. “If you don’t act clearly and decisively and early, we can compound the problem and make it much worse," Pichai was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. “These are decisions I needed to make,” he added.

Also Read: Tech Layoffs: From Google, Microsoft To Amazon, These Giants Announce Massive Job Cuts

Pichai told the employees that 2021 was one of the strongest years in Google’s history with its revenue growing over 40 per cent. The company expanded its workforce to match up with the growing business, assuming that the trend would persist.

“You have to remember if the trend had continued and we had not hired to keep pace, we would fall behind in many areas as a company," Pichai said as reported by CNBC.

Following mass layoffs in tech giants like Amazon and Meta, job cuts in Google was being speculated for quite some time now. However, the news came as a rude shock to employees after some realised that they lost their jobs only after failing to access their corporate system.

Google’s chief people officer Fiona Cicconi said that consultation with over 30,000 managers of the company was not possible, and they needed a certainty sooner.

Speaking on the criteria for the job cuts, she added that they picked areas where the work was necessary, but the company had too many people as well as places where the work itself wasn’t critical.

Pichai also indicated that senior Google executives will be taking sufficient cuts in their bonuses for the year.

Before the job cut announcement, Google had made the decision to pay out 80% of bonuses in January with the remaining expected in March or April.

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first published:January 24, 2023, 14:25 IST
last updated:January 24, 2023, 14:31 IST
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