Sundar Pichai, in a company-wide memo:
I have some difficult news to share. We’ve decided to reduce our
workforce by approximately 12,000 roles. We’ve already sent a
separate email to employees in the US who are affected. In other
countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and
This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people
we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I’m deeply
sorry for that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives
of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility
for the decisions that led us here.
This is a stronger, more confident, more honest and direct memo than Satya Nadella’s at Microsoft. (Which, as I noted, went 167 nervous words before getting to the point.)
Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To
match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic
reality than the one we face today.
There are numerous reasons the tech industry wound up at this layoffpalooza, but I think the main reason is that the biggest companies got caught up in a game where they tried to hire everyone, whether they needed them or not, to keep talent away from competitors and keep talent away from small upstarts (or from founding their own small upstarts). These big companies were just hiring to hire, and now the jig is up.
There’s only one big tech company that seemingly never played this hire-for-the-sake-of-hiring game, and thus hasn’t announced any layoffs at all, let alone a headcount that would fill a basketball arena. Just one. One company that has, at its best, always kept its cool in the face of economic swings both up and down.
★ Friday, 20 January 2023