Google CEO tells employees they aren’t PRODUCTIVE enough and says he will slow hiring

Google CEO Sundar Pichai warns workers they aren’t PRODUCTIVE or focused enough and calls on them for way to speed up product development after revenue growth slowed to 13%

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai told staff during an all-hands meeting last week that he expected them to improve productivity following a sluggish second quarter 
  • As staff were concerned about layoffs, Pichai said: ‘It’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead’
  • The tech giant is handing out a survey to staff to help the company to become more productive
  • Questions on the survey include: ‘Where should we remove speed bumps to get to better results faster?’
  • The company did not confirm the prospect of layoffs but said that hiring would be slowed through 2023 

Google boss Sundar Pichai told employees last Wednesday during an all-hands meeting their productivity is lacking and that they need to come up with ideas to help the company become more creative.  

The Alphabet CEO told his staff that he expects them to help as the tech giant evolves to meet new economic challenges. Alphabet is the name of Google’s parent company.

Pichai apparently is quoted as saying: ‘Google’s productivity as a company isn’t where it needs to be even with the head count it has,’ according to CNBC. 

The network said that Google staff expressed anxieties about potential layoffs at the tech giant. The meeting came as the company reported sluggish revenue growth of just 13 percent compared against 62 percent for the same period last year.

Pichai is also quoted as saying: ‘I wanted to give some additional context following our earnings results, and ask for your help as well.’ That, a reference to Google’s recent second quarter earnings report. 

He added: ‘It’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead.’ 

Pichai went on: ‘There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have.’ 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai apparently told his employees during an all hands meeiting that the 'Google's productivity as a company isn't where it needs to be even with the head count it has'

Google CEO Sundar Pichai apparently told his employees during an all hands meeiting that the ‘Google’s productivity as a company isn’t where it needs to be even with the head count it has’

A Google employee is pictured in one of the sitting areas at Google's new Bay View Campus in Mountain View, California

A Google employee is pictured in one of the sitting areas at Google’s new Bay View Campus in Mountain View, California

Google share price is up nearly eight percent since last week's second quarterly earnings report

Google share price is up nearly eight percent since last week’s second quarterly earnings report 

The CEO, who has a net worth of around $1.3 billion, wants his workers to ‘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,’ CNBC reported. 

He added: ‘I would love to get all your help.’

For the second-straight quarter, Google came up short in its earnings report. The company’s growth in the second quarter was 13 percent. In the second quarter of 2021, the growth was around 62 percent as the world began to reemerge from the Covid-19 lockdown.

In the second quarter in 2021, the company had just over 144,000 employees. As of right now, the company has over 174,000 employees, reports The Verge.   

Earlier in July, the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google would slow hiring for the rest of the year while asking employees to be ‘more entrepreneurial, working with greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days,’ according to the Wall Street Journal. 

In the second quarter in 2021, the company had just over 144,000 employees. As of right now, the company has over 174,000 employees

In the second quarter in 2021, the company had just over 144,000 employees. As of right now, the company has over 174,000 employees

The CNBC report on last Wednesday’s all-hands meeting said that the company was offering an internal survey through August 15. In the meeting, Pichai told employees that the survey would help the company ‘get better results faster.’ 

Questions on the survey include: ‘What would help you work with greater clarity and efficiency to serve our users and customers? Where should we remove speed bumps to get to better results faster? How do we eliminate waste and stay entrepreneurial and focused as we grow?,’ CNBC reported. 

When asked directly if layoffs were planned, Pichai dodged the question, handing it off to chief people officer, Fiona Cicconi, who said that there are no plans to let staff go but didn’t completely rule it out in the future.  

Last week, Alphabet posted quarterly sales close to Wall Street targets, sending shares up on relief that the world’s biggest seller of online advertising had avoided the deep disappointment of rivals including Snap.

Sales from Google’s search ad business actually topped expectations, while revenue from YouTube ads, cloud computing and Alphabet’s ‘other bets’ unit all came in lower than anticipated, according to data from FactSet and Refinitiv.  

Shares of Alphabet were up three percent in after-hours trade after rising to as much as 4.3 percent following the July 26 results bringing the price to $110 per share.

‘Despite the underwhelming quarter, expectations were so low that investors blew a sigh of relief,’ said Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com.

Alphabet reported second-quarter revenue of $69.69 billion, 13 percent higher than the year-ago period, and nearly in line with the average expectation of $69.88 billion among investment researchers tracked by Refinitiv.

The company also barely missed sales expectations in the first quarter. It last missed estimates in consecutive quarters in 2015.  

An SEC filing from January shows that four Google’s executives saw their base pay rise from $650,000 to $1 million following a fifth straight quarter of record profits. 

Rising wages as well as rising prices of fuel and other items have forced some ad buyers this year to pare marketing, including even ads on internet services such as Google that served as an essential link to consumers during pandemic lockdowns.

Last week, Snap Inc and Twitter Inc posted disappointing quarterly results, heightening concerns about the slowdown in ad spending. Snap shares plunged 25 percent following its results.  

The second quarter of 2022 marks the slowest quarterly sales growth posted by Google in two years

The second quarter of 2022 marks the slowest quarterly sales growth posted by Google in two years

Twitter lost $270 million in the second quarter with company referencing uncertainty over Elon Musk's acquisition as one of the reasons for the shortfall

Twitter lost $270 million in the second quarter with company referencing uncertainty over Elon Musk’s acquisition as one of the reasons for the shortfall

During the quarter, Twitter lost $270 million with company referencing uncertainty over Elon Musk’s acquisition as one of the reasons for the shortfall. 

Big U.S. multinationals including Alphabet also are increasingly bringing in less cash when converting foreign revenue because of the strong dollar.

Alphabet said the currency affected sales growth by 3.7%, and that sales would have been close to $72 billion if not for currency swings. About 55 percent of the company’s sales come from outside the United States.  

The currency impact will be even greater in the third quarter, Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat told reporters, according to CNBC.

During the interview, Porat made reference to ‘uncertainty in the global market.’ 

Porat told the network: ‘Going forward, the very strong revenue performance last year continues to create tough comps that will weigh on year on year growth rates of advertising revenues for the remainder of the year.’ 

Google’s ad business accounted for 81 percent of the quarterly revenue, with search ads generating $40.69 billion in sales, beating FactSet estimates of $40.15 billion.

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