According to the report, at Google’s “all-hands meeting” this week, employees expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s recent series of cost-cutting measures, and CEO Sundar Pichai said in response doesn’t always equate fun with money.
During the all-hands meeting, Google employees asked Pichai a slew of tough questions, including budget cuts for travel and entertainment, productivity gains, and potential layoffs. One of the questions: Why should Google cut costs when the company has record profits and a huge cash hoard, already largely out of the pandemic?
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Pichai responded very cautiously, saying: “What should I say? I hope you all see this news through external channels. In fact, with the current macroeconomic conditions very bad, we have instead to be more responsible. I think it’s critical that we all come together as a company to get through moments like this.”
Currently, Google, Meta, and other tech companies are facing a series of economic challenges, including a potential recession, soaring inflation, rising interest rates, and reduced ad spending. Known for high growth and many interesting perks over the past decade or so, these tech companies are doing the opposite today.
In the second quarter of this year, Google parent Alphabet’s profit and revenue missed expectations for the second straight quarter. Revenue growth in the third quarter is expected to fall to single digits, well below the more than 40% seen in the same period last year. Pichai acknowledged that it wasn’t just economic problems that challenged Google, but a deteriorating bureaucracy.
Earlier this month, Pichai hinted at layoffs. He said he hopes to increase the company’s efficiency by 20 percent. Given the current set of challenges and Google’s continued hiring over the years, that could include layoffs.
During an all-hands meeting this week, Pichai explained the concern among employees. He said: “You may be a team of 20 or 100 people, and on the basis of looking ahead, our growth will be limited. Maybe you planned to hire 6 more people, but in the end maybe only 4 people. How to achieve the goal? different teams will give different answers.”
When it comes to cost-cutting, Pichai also said that while some perks have been eliminated, Google’s culture can still be pleasant. “I remember when Google was small, people were so high-spirited,” he said. ” We shouldn’t always equate fun with money. I think you can look at a hard-working startup and people might be happy, but that shouldn’t always equate to money .”
Another concern for employees is: Why is management requiring employees to follow a return-to-office policy, while also saying there is no need to travel in person? Pichai responded: “I also understand that some travel restrictions are really suboptimal in an environment like this. So we’re not restricting travel completely, we’re giving the team discretion.”