Google boss Sundar Pichai identified “durable cost savings” among the tech giant’s key goals in 2024 – even after the company spooked some employees by teeing up renewed rounds of layoffs
This month, Google has already confirmed layoffs across multiple parts of its empire – including several hundred job cuts on its ad sales team and more than 1,000 combined workers in other units, including its core engineering team and the hardware division responsible for devices such as the Pixel, Nest and Fitbit.
The company further referenced its belt-tightening plans on a list of “2024 company-wide OKRs,” or objective key results, that Google shared with its employees last Thursday.
“Improve company velocity, efficiency, and productivity, and deliver durable cost savings,” said one of the seven stated goals, according to a copy obtained by The Verge.
The top goal on Google’s list was to “deliver the world’s most advanced, safe, and responsible AI.” The memo also mentioned boosting innovation through Google Cloud services and building “the most helpful personal computing platforms and devices.”
Pichai acknowledged that more layoffs were on the way during a company-wide memo last Wednesday – stating that the company wanted to remove “layers to simplify execution and drive velocity in some areas.”
“Many of these changes are already announced, though to be upfront, some teams will continue to make specific resource allocation decisions throughout the year where needed, and some roles may be impacted,” Pichai said.
The Google boss noted that the layoffs would not be “at the scale of last year’s reductions,” when the company cut some 12,000 employees. Google had more than 182,000 employees around the world as of last fall, according to filings.
Still, the clear signs that more cost-cutting measures will take place has “a lot of employees on edge,” according to The Verge.
Google representatives did not immediately return a request for comment.
As The Post reported, some current and former Google employees blasted the company for its handling of the latest wave of job cuts.
“Call me old school, but I think that if you find yourself in a situation where you need to let someone go, you owe it to them to meet them face-to-face, look them in the eyes, and acknowledge their humanity,” Kenneth Smith, a former Google engineering manager who was laid off, wrote on LinkedIn.
The cost-cutting moves came as Google pours more resources into its heated competition with Microsoft-backed OpenAI to develop advanced AI systems. In December, Google released Gemini, its latest large-language AI model.
Pichai said he would take questions from employees during the company’s planned all-hands meeting later this month.