Google‘s been making headlines, and not in a good way. Just last week, they axed hundreds of workers, adding up to over a thousand job cuts across multiple teams. The official line? They’re trying to streamline teams for better efficiency. But there’s been a conspicuous silence from one key player – Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO.
While the big boss remains mum, the employees are anything but. They’ve been vocal, criticizing the layoffs on the company’s internal communication boards. One employee sarcastically thanked their “corporate overlords” for the new “annual tradition”. Another lamented the dramatic shift in Google’s culture since the first major round of layoffs last year.
These messages were posted on Memegen, Google’s internal meme board. The “annual tradition” they’re referring to is the pattern of layoffs that’s been happening. Just a year ago, Google let go of 12,000 employees. It was a massive blow to the company and employee morale, and the discontent has been simmering ever since.
The layoffs didn’t stop there. Smaller groups of employees have been let go since the big cut in January 2023. The latest round hit Google’s AR, core engineering, and Assistant teams, making up about 0.5% of the company. It was part of a larger restructuring that saw Fitbit’s co-founders leave and hardware teams become more unified. But the company’s claims that these layoffs were necessary for efficiency aren’t sitting well with the employees.
Pichai has been notably silent on the issue. He hasn’t made a public statement about the layoffs, and reportedly, he hasn’t even addressed it privately with the employees. Workers found out they were being laid off through bland emails, and the rest of the employees are getting their news from the media. It’s no wonder they’re criticizing the layoffs.
When Pichai was pressed by employees at a recent all-hands meeting, he finally spoke up. He called it a moment unlike any other in the company’s 25-year history. He said that if they hadn’t acted, it would have been a worse decision down the line. But despite his claims that the layoffs were necessary, they’re still happening.
Google still has over 100,000 employees, and they’re watching these layoffs happen without much explanation or support from Pichai. Experts argue that the employees deserve better from their top boss.