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Google has too many employees for the work being done, says CEO

The comment came after the company weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second quarter.

Google, a company under Alphabet Inc.
Google, empresa de Alphabet Inc. | Shutterstock

August 3, 2022 2:43pm

Updated: August 3, 2022 4:26pm

The CEO of Google parent Alphabet recently warned employees that productivity must improve during a slowdown in the tech and digital advertising industries.

CEO Sundar Pichai made the comments at a regular all-hands meeting last Wednesday, a day after the company reported weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second quarter, reported CNBC.

“I wanted to give some additional context following our earnings results, and ask for your help as well,” Pichai opened to the over 170,000 full-time employees in attendance.

“It’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead.”

“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have,” he added.

Pichai asked employees to help “create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused. We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity.”

Alphabet shares are down around 20% this year, falling alongside the rest of the cooling tech industry. Employees at the all-hands meeting expressed concerns over potential layoffs despite a very tight labor market for tech workers.

Fiona Cicconi, Google’s chief people officer, told attendees there were no plans for layoffs at the moment, but she did not rule it out.

Pichai announced in July that the company plans to slow down hiring and consolidate investments through the remainder of the year.

“Like all companies, we’re not immune to economic headwinds,” Pichai wrote in the memo at the time.

“We need to be more entrepreneurial working with greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.”

The CEO introduced a “Simplicity Sprint” initiative to increase efficiency and invited attendees to share their ideas through an internal survey.