Layoffs created a big impact on morale, not the right way, says Google’s Sundar Pichai

Alphabet Inc. CEO and head of Google Sundar Pichai said that laying off 12000 people took a toll on the company’s morale, and was therefore not the right thing to do

At the outset of 2023, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, faced a period of upheaval as it made the unprecedented decision to terminate 12,000 employees.

The move, attributed to concerns about an impending recession, reverberated through the workforce and brought scrutiny to the tech giant’s strategic decisions.

During an all-hands meeting on Tuesday, as reported by Business Insider, CEO Sundar Pichai addressed questions about the controversial layoffs.

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One employee sought clarity on the decision’s impact on growth, profit and loss, and overall morale within the company.

In response, the 51-year-old CEO acknowledged the gravity of the situation, stating that Google had not faced such a pivotal moment in its 25-year history. Pichai admitted that alternative approaches could have been explored to navigate the circumstances.

“This has been a challenging time for any organization. At Google, we have not faced a comparable juncture in 25 years. We recognized that if we had not taken action, it would have led to more adverse outcomes down the line.

It would have lingered as a significant burden on the company, particularly amidst the global shifts we’ve witnessed this year,” Pichai remarked.

While acknowledging room for improvement in their approach, Pichai stated, “Clearly it’s not the right way to do it. I think it’s something we could have done differently for sure.”

Additionally, Pichai shed light on the substantial blow to morale triggered by the terminations, citing the impact evident in employee feedback channels like “Googlegeist.”

The job cuts spanned various sectors within the company, affecting recruitment, corporate functions, engineering, and product teams.

Importantly, the ramifications were global, immediately impacting US-based staff, as communicated by Google.

The controversy surrounding the decision raises questions about the tech giant’s handling of workforce challenges during uncertain economic times.

(With inputs from agencies)

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