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Google says ‘nothing was random’ about layoffs in town hall


In a town hall meeting with employees, Google executives shared that “nothing was random” about the way the company’s 12,000 layoffs were selected.

Amidst the ongoing economic downturn, Google announced on Friday that it would lay off 12,000 employees.

… we’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company.

— Sundar Pichai

Reports are still coming in about what impact these layoffs will have on the various divisions of Google, with the Fuchsia and Area 120 divisions said to be disproportionately affected.

As reported by Fortune, the layoffs appear to have impacted both new hires and senior staff alike, including those who had recently received positive performance reviews. This has led some Googlers to believe that the layoffs were done at random, rather than based on workplace performance metrics.

On Monday morning, Sundar Pichai and other Google executives hosted an online town hall meeting, in which current employees were able to submit and vote on questions to be answered. At one point in the meeting, the executives addressed the way in which it was decided which employees would be let go, confirming the decision-making was “not random.”

Cuts were made in a very structured, very prioritized way, nothing was random about it.

According to Business Insider, Google’s chief people officer, Fiona Cicconi shared multiple factors that were taken into account for this latest wave of layoffs. These included Google’s strategic priorities — explaining why some divisions saw more cuts than others — and the performance, productivity, and skill set of individual employees.

Cicconi went on to confirm that approximately 750 leaders were involved in Google’s decision on who should be let go, but emphasized that the company’s primary intention was to remove “roles that didn’t align with business priorities.”

Business Insider also reports that, when asked how he and other executives plan to take responsibility for leading the company to needing these layoffs, Pichai said that all senior vice presidents and above would see a “very significant reduction in their annual bonus.” Reportedly, the more senior a leader is, the more their compensation is “tied directly to company performance.”

Many SVPs and offices have performance-share units, which can reduce your equity grants if performance is not great and are really tied to company performance as well.

— Sundar Pichai

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Google says ‘nothing was random’ about layoffs in town hall

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Google says ‘nothing was random’ about layoffs in town hall

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