Google massive 12,000 layoffs affected 6% of the company’s workforce, and it is the largest round of layoffs in the company’s history. To clarify matters, CEO Sundar Pichai and other executives hosted a town hall meeting where they attempted to answer questions employees may have.
A CNBC report about the meeting described it as ‘animated’ and many of the queries were related to how the executives determined who should stay or leave and how the decision was communicated.
Here are six key details we learned from the Google town hall meeting in January 2023 regarding the job cuts:
1. The criteria for cuts included areas where the company had too many people, as well as places where the work itself wasn’t critical. They also considered skill set, time in role where experience or relationships are relevant and matter, productivity indicators like sales quotas and performance history.
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2. While it was not initially revealed, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees that executives will see their bonuses and compensations significantly cut in 2023. This move supports what many have been saying online that cost reduction should begin at the top.
3. Pichai pleaded with staff to remain motivated as Google faces heightened competition in areas like artificial intelligence. Although he didn’t name names, he was likely talking about the threat by OpenAI’s ChatGPT which is being backed by Microsoft.
4. His explanation for removing employees who lost their jobs from the internal system without warning was that they should have been made away but reaching everyone on time was difficult.
5. Pichai further said he consulted with the founders and controlling shareholders Sergey Brin and Larry Page as well as the board of directors. Also, he claimed that about 750 senior leaders were involved in the process of determining who would be laid off.
6. Pichai said that Google hired too quickly because its business grew by 41% in revenue in 2021 and they were afraid of lagging behind their rivals for not increasing the workforce.
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