It Was Not The Right Way To Do It: Pichai On Layoffs
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (IANS) – After almost a year when Google announced the decision to cut 12,000 jobs, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said that the decision to inform employees affected by the layoffs was “not the right way to do it”.
At an all-hands meeting held on December 12, Pichai was asked about the decision to lay off so many employees, reports Insider.
“It has been almost one year since we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce. What impact did this decision have on our growth, P&L, and morale?” an employee asked Pichai.
In response the CEO said, the layoffs had a “clear big impact on morale. It’s reflected in the comments in Googlegeist and the feedback”.
Googlegeist is the company’s internal survey, which measures employee satisfaction on topics such as leadership, product focus, and compensation.
“This is difficult for any company to go through. At Google, we haven’t had a moment quite like that in 25 years,” Pichai said.
“It became clear if we didn’t act, it would have been a worse decision down the line. It would have been a major overhang for the company. I think it would have made it very difficult in a year like this with such a big shift in the world to create the capacity to invest in areas,” he added.
Executives were also asked whether they had any thoughts on how the layoffs were handled, and Pichai admitted that the company did not handle the cuts as well as it could have.
Pichai stated that notifying all concerned employees at the same time, regardless of time zone, was not a good idea, the report mentioned.
“Clearly it’s not the right way to do it. I think it’s something we could have done differently for sure,” he said. He added that immediately removing access to laid-off employees’ work accounts was “a very, very difficult decision”.
Google has made numerous smaller, more targeted waves of layoffs since January in areas such as recruiting, Google News, and Google Assistant.