Google has hired like crazy for tech talent
Amid the war for talent, CFOs in various industries are seeking tech-savvy candidates. But Alphabet, Google’s parent company, seems to be attracting them all.
“With respect to Alphabet’s headcount, we added nearly 6,500 people in the fourth quarter, and the majority of hires are for technical roles,” Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat said on the company’s Q4 2021 earnings call on Tuesday. A “strong pace of hiring” is expected across Alphabet this year, Porat said.
On the call, an analyst from JPMorgan said to Porat, the increase in headcount is “I think the biggest that you’ve seen in any quarter ever.” Porat responded, “We do continue to be a magnet for great talent.” In Q4, Alphabet earned revenue of $75 billion, up 32% year over year. The company beat analysts’ expectations on the top and bottom line, according to Bloomberg.
Alphabet’s Q4 and full-year performance, “reflected broad base strength and advertiser spend and strong consumer online activity as well as substantial ongoing revenue growth from Google Cloud,” Porat said. In Q4, Google Cloud revenue grew 45% year over year to $5.5 billion. It had an operating loss of $890 million.
“Google Cloud revenues increased by 47% for the full year 2021, compared to 2020,” Porat said. “While cloud operating loss and operating margin improved in 2021, we plan to continue to invest aggressively in cloud given the sizable market opportunity we see. We do remain focused on the long-term path to profitability, and over time operating loss and operating margin should benefit from increased scale.”
Porat joined the company in 2015, after an almost 30-year career at Morgan Stanley in several key roles including vice chairman of investment banking, global head of the Financial Institutions Group and co-head of Technology Investment Banking. Porat, along with several members of the senior executive team, is set for a board-approved salary increase this year, from $650,000 to $1 million, detailed in an SEC filing in December.
In regard to its workforce, Alphabet faced challenges of late, with hundreds of employees forming a union. In January, Google announced enhanced benefits, including increased paid time off for workers who give birth to 24 weeks, up from 18 weeks. Parents will receive 18 weeks of parental leave, an increase from 12 weeks. In addition, at least eight weeks of caregiver leave for employees, which is double its previous allowance. Employees will also receive more vacation time—a minimum of 20 days, an increase from 15.
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Information technology (IT) positions are becoming increasingly popular, according to CompTIA's latest Job Seeker Trends Report released on Feb. 1. About 20% of respondents are looking for jobs in the IT occupation category, which is a 7% increase from June 2021. That is the greatest increase among the survey's employment categories, the report found. However, the top job search category (22%) was sales, marketing, retail, and real estate. CompTIA also found that interest in the business, financial, accounting, analyst, and operations category experienced 4% growth from June 2021. The findings are based on a survey of 1,119 U.S. job seekers conducted by CompTIA, a nonprofit IT association.
Schwab Advisor Services released its 2021 RIA Compensation Report on Feb. 1. The report focuses on hiring to meet firm growth, incentives beyond base salary to drive performance, and offering more than compensation to attract and retain top talent. Compensation costs account for about 71% of a firm’s expenses, according to the report. The research also found that nearly 80% of firms planned to hire in 2021. “If current growth rates continue, the median firm will need to hire six new roles over the next five years, without accounting for employee attrition/turnover,” according to the report.
Morgan Brown was named CFO at Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN), a biopharmaceutical company, effective Feb. 1. Since 2013, Brown has been EVP and CFO of Lipocine, Inc. Previously, he served as EVP and CFO at Innovus Pharmaceuticals and World Heart Corporation. He served as CFO and senior VP at Lifetree Clinical Research; and VP, finance and treasurer at NPS Pharmaceuticals. He began his career at KPMG LLP, where he rose to senior audit manager.
Carolyn Nash was promoted to SVP and CFO at Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), effective on April 1. Laurie Krebs, currently CFO and SVP, will retire after five years with the company. Until her retirement in July, Krebs will work with Nash during the transition period. Nash currently serves as VP of global finance, transformations and operations. Prior to this role, she collaborated with Red Hat's products and technology and marketing organizations, helping align financial investments to business objectives. Nash is the executive sponsor for the Red Hat Pride ERG. Before joining the company in 2016, she spent 16 years at Cisco, most of which were in finance leadership positions. In addition, she spent time at Hewlett Packard and KPMG in both finance and accounting roles.
"Now that the Supreme Court has struck down President Biden’s vaccine mandate, the ball is back in every CEO’s court. Here is one approach leaders can take. CEOs will ultimately have to make a decision and deal directly with the consequences–because the government is no longer there to shield them."
—Adam Galinsky, the Paul Calello professor of leadership and ethics at Columbia Business School, writes in a Fortune opinion piece.
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