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In layoff season, Google may fire 10,000 'low performing' employees

By Shivani Shinde
November 23, 2022 16:38 IST
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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is likely to join the list of Big Tech companies going for large-scale layoffs.


Photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters

With this, almost the entire universe of FAANG — acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google — has now come under the layoff turbulence hitting tens of thousands of tech jobs around the world.

Reports surfaced on Tuesday about the Mountain View (California)-headquartered tech giant  planning to fire around 10,000 employees.


This follows unprecedented job cuts at Meta (Facebook), Amazon and Twitter.

Apple has already announced a hiring freeze, while Netflix fired about 450 employees in two rounds earlier this year.

The layoff at Alphabet is part of performance improvement plan that the company announced earlier this year.

According to a report by The Information, a San Francisco-based business publication, managers have been asked to categorize 6 per cent of its employees, or roughly a total of 10,000 as low performers.

The company did not comment on the report and  the India impact of the likely layoff at Google (Alphabet) could not be independently verified.

In India, Google has a total employee base of around 5000-6000.

The company had announced in 2020 that it would invest $10 billion to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in the country.

The news on layoff at Google has come within days of a letter that hedge fund TCI, an investor in the company, wrote to Alphabet.

TCI has shares worth $6 billion in Alphabet.

“We are writing to express our view that the cost base of Alphabet is too high and that management needs to take aggressive action.

"The company has too many employees and the cost per employee is too high,” said the letter written by Christopher Hohn, MD of TCI.

He had also pointed out that Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, had stated that the company should be 20 per cent more efficient.

“Nearly all technology companies are reducing costs. Meta reduced headcount by 13 per cent last week.

"Amazon is reducing headcount by 10,000.

"Microsoft, Salesforce, Stripe and Twitter are also reducing headcount,” said the letter dated November 15, 2020.

Since Meta announced the layoffs towards the end of October, the company’s stock price was up by 18 per cent (till closing of November 21).

According to the TCI letter, Alphabet salaries are the highest among its tech peers.

Alphabet’s Schedule 14A filing, its median compensation totalled $295,884 in 2021.

This is 67 per cent higher than at Microsoft and 153 per cent higher than the 20 largest listed companies in the US.

During its Q3 results, Google had spoken about its plan to moderate hiring.

Pichai had then said that the firm’s Q4 headcount additions will be significantly lower than Q3.

“And as we plan for 2023, we’ll continue to make important trade-offs where needed, and are focused on moderating operating expense growth,” he had said.

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Shivani Shinde
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