Google CEO demands ‘better results faster’ as workers fear layoffs
The senior Google executive has told his employees they need to improve their focus and productivity as the tech giant faces fierce economic headwinds that have employees worried about losing their jobs.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, told his employees at a town hall meeting on Wednesday that he would be soliciting ideas on how best to get “better results, faster.”
“I wanted to provide some additional context following our results and ask for your help as well,” Pichai told his employees in comments first reported by CNBC.
“Clearly we face a challenging macroeconomic environment with more uncertainty ahead.”
He added: “There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it should be for the number of employees we have.”
Pichai wants to solicit employee feedback on how the company can “create a culture that’s more mission-driven, more product-driven, more customer-driven.”
“We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar for product excellence and productivity,” he said.
Last week, Alphabet reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth in two years as the digital advertising market feels the pinch of an economic recession.
In the three-month period ending in June, Alphabet generated $69.7 billion, an increase of 13% over the same quarter last year.
But that’s the lowest growth rate since the second quarter of 2020, when the company reported its only year-over-year revenue decline in its history.
In an effort to turn things around, Pichai announced the launch of “Simplicity Sprint,” a new initiative where management invites employees to pitch ideas on how to streamline productivity and accelerate product development.
Pichai told his employees that the initiative aims to get “better results faster.”
Management has distributed an internal survey to employees who are invited to write down their ideas.
The survey includes questions such as: “What would help you work more clearly and efficiently to serve our users and customers? Where should we remove speed bumps to achieve better results faster? How do we eliminate waste and stay enterprising and focused as we grow?”
Leaders also tried to allay workers’ concerns about the impending layoffs.
Google human resources director Fiona Cicconi told employees that the company continues to hire and there are no plans to lay off at this time.
Worryingly, she did not rule out layoffs in the future.
“We’re asking teams to be more focused and efficient and also working on what that means as a business,” Cicconi said.
“While we can’t be sure about the future economy, we are not currently looking to reduce Google’s overall workforce.”
Cicconi added: “I really understand that there is some anxiety about this based on what we hear from other companies and what they are doing and as Sundar mentioned we are still hiring for critical roles.