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Read Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s email to staff on plans to slow hiring after adding 10,000 employees in Q2: ‘We’re not immune to economic headwinds’

July 13, 2022, 3:50 AM UTC
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at a panel at the CEO Summit of the Americas hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on June 9, 2022 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Anna Moneymaker—Getty Images

Alphabet Inc.’s Google plans to slow hiring for the remainder of the year in the face of a potential economic recession, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said Tuesday in an email to staff. 

Pichai said the company will focus on hiring “engineering, technical and other critical roles,” in 2022 and 2023, according to a copy of the email viewed by Bloomberg News.

“Moving forward, we need to be more entrepreneurial, working with greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days,” Pichai wrote. “In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes.”

Historically, Google has remained relatively immune to the economic dips of the technology sector. The internet giant paused hiring after the financial crisis more than a decade ago, but has since regularly added waves of new employees for its main advertising business as well as areas such as smartphones, self-driving cars and wearable devices that aren’t yet profitable. Google parent Alphabet, which employed almost 164,000 people as of March 31, has hired primarily in recent years for Google’s cloud division and new fields like hardware. 

Google’s move mirrors that of other tech companies. In May, Snap Inc. and Lyft Inc. said they would slow hiring. Several weeks later, Instacart Inc. said it would dial back job growth and Tesla Inc. followed with an announcement of a 10% reduction for its salaried workforce. Earlier this week, Google rival Microsoft Corp. announced it was cutting a small number of jobs. Meta Platforms Inc. also reduced its hiring plans because of concerns over economic conditions. 

In the email, Pichai said Google added 10,000 staffers during the second quarter and had “strong commitments” in the next few months to hire college recruits. Business Insider reported earlier on Google’s plans.

Earlier this week, Google rival Microsoft Corp. announced it was cutting a small number of jobs. Meta Platforms Inc. also reduced its hiring plans because of concerns over economic conditions. 

Here’s the email:

Hi Googlers, 

Hard to believe we’re already through the first half of 2022. It’s the right opportunity to thank everyone for the great work so far this year, and to share how my Leads and I are thinking about H2. 

The uncertain global economic outlook has been top of mind. Like all companies, we’re not immune to economic headwinds. Something I cherish about our culture is that we’ve never viewed these types of challenges as obstacles. Instead, we’ve seen them as opportunities to deepen our focus and invest for the long term.

In these moments, I turn to our mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. It’s what inspired me to join the company 18 years ago, and what makes me so optimistic about the impact we are able to have on the world. Knowledge and computing are how we drive our mission forward. That’s the lens we use to decide where to invest — whether it’s in areas like Search, Cloud, YouTube, Platforms and Hardware, the teams that support them, or in the AI that enables more helpful products and services.

We help people and society when we focus on what we do best, and do it really well. The investments we’ve made in the first half of the year reflect this vision. In Q2 alone, we added approximately 10,000 Googlers, and have a strong number of commitments for Q3 start dates which reflects, in part, the seasonal college recruiting calendar. These are extraordinary numbers, and they show our excitement about long-term opportunities, even in uncertain times. 

Because of the hiring progress achieved so far this year, we’ll be slowing the pace of hiring for the rest of the year, while still supporting our most important opportunities. For the balance of 2022 and 2023, we’ll focus our hiring on engineering, technical and other critical roles, and make sure the great talent we do hire is aligned with our long-term priorities.

Moving forward, we need to be more entrepreneurial, working with greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days. In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes. In other cases, that means pausing development and re-deploying resources to higher priority areas. Making the company more efficient is up to all of us — we’ll be creating more ways for you all to engage and share ideas to help, so stay tuned.

Scarcity breeds clarity — this is something we have been saying since the earliest days of Google. It’s what drives focus and creativity that ultimately leads to better products that help people all over the world. That’s the opportunity in front of us today, and I’m excited for us to rise to the moment again.

–Sundar

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