‘We can’t always choose macroeconomic conditions,’ Google CEO Sundar Pichai told disgruntled staff
By Ariel Zilber
Pichai has been grilled by employees over cuts to travel and entertainment budgets
Google CEO Sundar Pichai was reportedly agitated at a ‘heated’ all-levels meeting in which an employee asked why the search engine was nickel and dime workers by scrapping benefits and advantages.
Pichai, who has stepped up pressure on Googlers to boost productivity, held court in a meeting in New York this week where he was questioned by his employees over cuts to travel and entertainment budgets
A worker had the nerve to ask Pichai why Google was ‘nickel and gradation employees’ when the company reported ‘record profits and huge cash reserves’, according to audio obtained by CNBC
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Googler’s pointed question received a positive response from his colleagues, who rated it prominently on the company’s internal Dory question-and-answer system, according to CNBC.
Pichai reportedly paused to collect his thoughts and offer a measured response.
“How can I tell? the CEO reportedly began in response to the disgruntled employee.
“Listen, I hope you all read the news, from the outside,” Pichai continued. “The fact that you know we’re a little more responsible in one of the toughest macroeconomic conditions of the past decade, I think it’s important that as a business we stick together to get through times like this.”
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Pichai reportedly sounded annoyed, telling his accusations, “We can’t always choose macroeconomic conditions.” He added that it was important for the company “to be smart, to be frugal, to be scrappy, to be more efficient.”
“I remember when Google was small and scrappy,” Pichai said.
“Fun hasn’t always been – we shouldn’t always equate fun with money. I think you can get into a startup that works hard and people can have fun and that shouldn’t always be synonymous with money.”
An employee told Dory it was ironic that Pichai cut travel costs while flying to New York from his Bay Area headquarters to meet with them.
“It’s an interesting choice for Sundar to be in New York…after employee travel is reduced to only those points most critical to the business,” the employee reportedly wrote on Dory.
“I’m sure Sundar has business-critical meetings in New York.”
Pichai replied, “I think so. I think it qualifies.” The response had the audience laughing, according to CNBC.
The CEO, who hinted at layoffs after the company imposed a hiring freeze earlier this summer, also pushed back against an employee’s suggestion that Google had shifted to an “aggressive job-cutting” strategy. costs”.
“I’m a little concerned that you think what we’ve done is what you would define as aggressive cost saving,” Pichai said. “I think it’s important that we don’t get disconnected. You have to take a long-term view in conditions like this.”
Pichai, who dodged a question about Google’s executive compensation, said the company “always invests in long-term projects like quantum computing.”
Pichai earned $6.3 million in salary last year.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Google informed some employees that they must apply for new jobs with the company if they hope to remain employed.
Those who did not reapply within 90 days would be fired, the Journal reported.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said its payroll was 174,014 employees at the end of the second quarter.
In July, Alphabet reported weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue. The company expects third-quarter sales growth to fall to single digits, a far cry from the more than 40% growth recorded the previous year.
Shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) (GOOGL) fell 1.4% on Friday.
The New York Post said it sought comment from the company.
A spokesperson for Alphabet told CNBC, “Sundar has spoken to the company regularly over the past several months about ways we can focus more.”
According to the spokesperson, Pichai let its employees know that “company leaders strive to be accountable and efficient in everything their teams do.”
Pichai told his employees that managers “make sure our employees are working on the most impactful/highest priority work,” according to the company representative.
A version of this report appeared on NYPost.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswire
9/24/22 1928 ET
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