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In Layoff Season, Google Too Preps For Purge, May Cut 10,000 Jobs: Report

Google’s outlier status amid staff cuts by fellow tech giants is about to fade, as parent company Alphabet also plans to lay off a significant portion of its workforce — about 6 percent, or 10,000 people. It will be done after identifying those who are performing below expectations, insiders have said. But at the heart of the impending austerity is the difficult — and deteriorating — global financial situation, according to the tech news portal The information.

Team managers have been asked to evaluate staff in a new ‘ranking and performance improvement plan’. The purge could begin in early 2023, so only a few more weeks.

In the previous performance appraisal system, managers were expected to put 2 percent of employees in that bucket.

Google or Alphabet have not yet confirmed plans for layoffs. NDTV has reached out to Google for comment on the report.

But CEO Sundar Pichai had alluded to it a few months ago. He had said that as a company, Google believes that “when you have fewer resources than before, you prioritize the right things to work on and your employees are really productive…”.

In his report The information said the system would first allow managers to decide not to pay bonuses. “As the number of layoffs spread across Silicon Valley, Google stood out by not cutting any employees so far. But as outside pressure mounts on the company to improve the productivity of its employees, a new performance management system could help managers send thousands of underperforming employees away from early next year,” it reported.

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Several major tech companies had bets that the increase in online activity during Covid would continue once the pandemic eases. But that didn’t happen.

Facebook founder and Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg said so too when he announced a cut of 11,000 jobs, which was about 13 percent of the company’s workforce.

At Twitter, overdrive by new owner Elon Musk has led to 60 percent of its roughly 7,000 employees disappearing. He says he won’t settle for losing, so he has to restructure almost everything.

Google or Alphabet are also under pressure from investors.

Activist investor TCI Fund Management recently called on the company to cut costs by cutting headcount, saying it must adapt to an era of slower growth, Reuters news agency reported. The fund, an investor in Alphabet since 2017 with a $6 billion stake, said the company had “too many employees and the cost per employee is too high.”

TCI said Alphabet pays some of the highest salaries in Silicon Valley, noting that the company’s workforce has grown 20 percent annually since 2017.

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