Google CEO defends job cuts in animated town hall as employees demand clarity on process

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Pichai said he consulted with the founders and controlling shareholders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, as well as the board of directors.

Pichai said 2021 marked “one of the strongest years we’ve ever had in the history of the company,” with 41% revenue growth. Google increased head count to match that expansion, and Pichai said the company was assuming growth would persist.

“In that context, we made a set of decisions that might have been right if the trends continued,” he said. “You have to remember if the trend had continued and we had not hired to keep pace, we would fall behind in many areas as a company.”

Executives said 750 senior leaders were involved in the process, adding it took a few weeks to determine who would be laid off.

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“We have over 30,000 managers at Google and to consult with all of them would have made this an open process where it would have taken additional weeks or even months to come to a decision,” said Fiona Cicconi, Google’s chief people officer, at the meeting. “We wanted to get certainty sooner.”

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