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Google tells employees to be more productive with ‘more uncertainty ahead’

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Google’s chief executive has told employees that they need to be more productive.

“I wanted to give some additional context following our earnings results, and ask for your help as well,” Sundar Pichai said in a recent meeting to 170,000 employees, as reported by CNBC. The company had just released its second-quarter earnings report.

“It’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead”, adding that “there are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have.”

Google is now implementing what Mr Pichai calls a “Simplicity Sprint” initiative in order to push towards “a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused.”

This comes as Google’s revenue growth has slowed to 13 per cent from 62 per cent last year.

It is possible there could be layoffs at the software giant. Employees asked Mr Pichai whether “sharpening Google’s focus ‘means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes,’” and if redundancies should be expected.

Google’s chief people officer, Fiona Cicconi, said the company was still hiring but did not rule out the possibility.

“We’re asking teams to be more focused and efficient and we’re working out what that means as a company as well. Even though we can’t be sure of the economy in the future, we’re not currently looking to reduce Google’s overall workforce”, Ms Cicconi said.

“I really get that there is some anxiety around this based on what we’re hearing from other companies and what they’re doing and as Sundar mentioned, we’re still hiring for critical roles.”

The news comes afterSundar Pichai told Google employees last month that the company is “slowing down the pace of hiring for the rest of the year” amid an “uncertain global economic outlook”.

Google had not fared well in the previous quarter either. The company’s growth in the first quarter slowed to 23 per cent, down from a 34 per cent growth in the same period last year.

Other technology companies have been issuing the same warnings. Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told employees that if they found themselves unable to keep up with the company’s fastening pace might also find that they’re without a job.

“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mr Zuckerberg said.

Do you work at Google or are concerned about the company? Let us know! Using a non-work phone or computer, contact Adam Smith on Signal on +44 7926 368551 or email

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