Google CEO Sundar Pichai has reportedly called on his staff to implement a ‘Simplicity Sprint’ initiative aimed at bringing employees’ ideas together around product development, increasing efficiency and ‘getting better results faster’ . The proposal follows a hiring freeze and a disturbing series of emails which has some Googlers are worried about the potential for layoffs.
The so-called Simplicity Sprint, reported for the first time by CNBC, was reportedly brought up at a company town hall meeting last week. Pichai reportedly told employees they could share ideas for the sprint until August 15 through an internal survey. The survey would include questions that probe the areas where the company could potentially make cuts, according to a copy viewed by CNBC.
Pichai would have made it clear that business efficiency is not where executives want it to be, especially in light of disappointing Results Q2. Google’s overall revenue was slightly below analysts’ forecasts, while revenue growth slowed to 13% from 62% in the same period a year earlier.
“I wanted to provide some additional context after our revenue results and ask for your help as well,” Pichai reportedly told staff. “Clearly we face a challenging macroeconomic environment with more uncertainty ahead.”
On the issue of layoffs, Google HR director Fiona Cicconi said the company is still hiring for some critical positions and has no ongoing layoff plans, but did not rule out layoffs entirely. eventually.
“We’re asking teams to be more focused and efficient and we’re also working on what that means as a business,” Cicconi reportedly said. “While we can’t be sure about the future economy, we are not currently looking to reduce Google’s overall workforce.”
Google did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
Last week’s meeting marks the latest in a series of alarming and sometimes cryptic communications between Google executives and staff hinting at potentially tougher times ahead. Early last month, Pichai reportedly emailed staff urging employees to be “more enterprising” and said the company would focus on hiring for “critical roles” in the future. A few weeks later, Google allegedly sent a follow-up email in which it announcement the company would implement a two-week hiring freeze. The freeze came after the company reportedly hired about 10,000 new workers in the second quarter.
“We will use this time to review our staffing needs and align with a new set of priority staffing requests for the next three months,” Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan reportedly said in the email. obtained by Information.
Google’s warning to its staff reflects a broader sense of unease in the tech industry. A recent Crunchbass analysis found that the tech industry had lost more than 30,000 jobs this year by the end of July. These have come from almost every corner of the industry, from electric vehicle giants like You’re here to the cryptocurrency heavyweight Coinbase.
There are signs the pressure could be coming for the Big Tech giants as well. Last month, a senior executive at Meta informed managers to “pass out”, low performing employees. A month before that, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly considered cutting his engineering hires by 30% for the rest of the year, according a leaked Q&A. Zuckerberg reiterated that glum sentiment during an all-hands meeting last week where he allegedly said the company had been hiring too aggressively during the pandemic, Reuters Remarks.
While recent tech industry downturns provide the clearest explanation for Google’s recent warning, Pichai has come under fire from some who said his leadership at the company is tied to a decline in performance. 15 current and former Google executives talk to last year, the New York Times criticized Pichai for not acting quickly enough on business decisions and creating an environment crippled by bureaucracy. Some former Google executives, like Noam Bardin, have accused Pichai of lacking the risk appetite so symbolic of tech industry executives.
“The challenges of innovation”, Bardin written in a blog post “will only get worse as risk tolerance declines”.