Sundar Pichai (CEO Alphabet): Google will reduce hiring for the remainder of the year

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Alphabet Inc.’s GoogleSundar Pichai (CEO) stated Tuesday that plans were to slow down hiring for the remainder, in light of an imminent economic recession.

Pichai said the company will focus on hiring “engineering, technical and other critical roles,” in 2022 and 2023, according to a copy of the email viewed by Bloomberg News.

“Moving forward, we need to be more entrepreneurial, working with greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days,” Pichai wrote. “In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes.”

Google has always been relatively resilient to economic downturns in technology. The internet giant paused hiring after the financial crisis more than a decade ago, but has since regularly added waves of new employees for its main advertising business as well as areas such as smartphones, self-driving cars and wearable devices that aren’t yet profitable. Google parent Alphabet, which employed almost 164,000 people as of March 31, has hired primarily in recent years for Google’s cloud division and new fields like hardware.

Google’s move mirrors that of other tech companies. Lyft Inc., Snap Inc., and Lyft Inc. both announced that they would slow down their hiring efforts in May. Instacart Inc. stated that it would reduce job growth a few weeks later. Tesla Inc. also announced a 10% reduction in its salaried workforce. Google’s rival was also announced earlier in the week. MicrosoftCorp. said it would reduce a small number jobs. Meta Platforms Inc. also cut its hiring plans due to concerns about economic conditions.

In the email, Pichai said Google added 10,000 staffers during the second quarter and had “strong commitments” in the next few months to hire college recruits.Business Insider reported earlier on Google’s plans.

Google’s competitor Microsoft Corp. had earlier announced that it would reduce a number of jobs. Meta Platforms Inc. has also reduced its hiring plans due to economic concerns.

Here’s the email:

Hi Googlers

Hard to believe we’re already through the first half of 2022. It’s the right opportunity to thank everyone for the great work so far this year, and to share how my Leads and I are thinking about H2.

We are concerned about the uncertain global economic outlook. Like all companies, we’re not immune to economic headwinds. Something I cherish about our culture is that we’ve never viewed these types of challenges as obstacles. Instead, we’ve seen them as opportunities to deepen our focus and invest for the long term.

In these moments, I turn to our mission: to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. It’s what inspired me to join the company 18 years ago, and what makes me so optimistic about the impact we are able to have on the world. We are driven forward by our knowledge and computing. That’s the lens we use to decide where to invest — whether it’s in areas like Search, Cloud, YouTube, Platforms and Hardware, the teams that support them, or in the AI that enables more helpful products and services.

When we are focused on what we do best and do it well, we help society and people. The investments we’ve made in the first half of the year reflect this vision. We added around 10,000 Googlers in Q2 and have strong commitments for Q3 start dates. This is partly due to the seasonal college recruitment calendar. These are incredible numbers and demonstrate our excitement about long-term possibilities, even in uncertain times.

Because of the hiring progress achieved so far this year, we’ll be slowing the pace of hiring for the rest of the year, while still supporting our most important opportunities. For the balance of 2022 and 2023, we’ll focus our hiring on engineering, technical and other critical roles, and make sure the great talent we do hire is aligned with our long-term priorities.

Moving forward, we need to be more entrepreneurial, working with greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days. Sometimes, this means consolidating investments that are already in excess and streamlining the process. Other cases may require a halt to development and a re-deployment of resources to higher priority areas. Making the company more efficient is up to all of us — we’ll be creating more ways for you all to engage and share ideas to help, so stay tuned.

Scarcity breeds clarity — this is something we have been saying since the earliest days of Google. It’s what drives focus and creativity that ultimately leads to better products that help people all over the world. That’s the opportunity in front of us today, and I’m excited for us to rise to the moment again.

— Sundar



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