Google employees blast ‘profoundly boring’ management which lacks ‘visionary leader’ amid layoffs

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By Dan Sears

Angry Googlers are finished being nice.

Current and former employees of the tech behemoth took to LinkedIn to vent their frustrations at the way management has handled the most recent round of layoffs — with one software engineer blasting higher-ups as lacking “one single visionary leader.”

“From the C-suite to the SVPs to the VPs, they are all profoundly boring and glassy-eyed,” Diane Hirsh Theriault wrote on her LinkedIn page on Wednesday.

Theriault reacted to the news that Google was laying off several hundred people from its ad sales team.

Last week, the company shed around 1,000 employees from its Pixel, Fitbit and Nest divisions — a move that reportedly outraged staffers who were particularly upset by the fact that CEO Sundar Pichai did not communicate directly with those affected.

On Thursday, Pichai told employees that more job cuts are likely this year, though he cautioned that they will not be on the scale of those from a year ago.

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“We have ambitious goals and will be investing in our big priorities this year,” Pichai told all Google employees on Wednesday in an internal memo that was first obtained by The Verge.

“The reality is that to create the capacity for this investment, we have to make tough choices.”

“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 engineering manager who was let go by Google, wrote on his LinkedIn account.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned this week that more job cuts were coming this year.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned this week that more job cuts were coming this year. AFP via Getty Images

Smith, who acknowledged that one supervisor followed up with him after news of the layoffs broke, wrote that he “harbored a lot of anger and frustration at Google’s leadership for how they handled the layoffs” of 12,000 colleagues last year.

“I don’t see a lot of evidence that they’ve learned much from that experience,” he wrote.

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Current and former Google employees took to social media to vent their frustrations at management's handling of the recent round of layoffs.
Current and former Google employees took to social media to vent their frustrations at management’s handling of the recent round of layoffs. AP

Gergely Orosz, a software engineer and tech commentator, reacted to Smith’s LinkedIn post on X, blasting Google as a “faceless corporation.”

“Google [is] successfully cementing their reputation as the place that after years of service, all you get is an email from the system that you’re fired,” Orosz wrote on X.

“It’s just business. They can fire you any time (and will, if it’s the business interest) and you do the same and leave any time (when it’s your personal interest),” Orosz wrote, adding: “Forget ‘loyalty’ or ‘commitment’ both ways.”

Last year, Google laid off some 12,000 workers as tech companies looked to cut costs in anticipation of an economic downturn.

At the time of the layoffs, the company boasted an overall global workforce of nearly 187,000 people.

A company rep told Business Insider that it was “responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead,” adding that organizational changes included “some role eliminations globally.”

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“We’re continuing to support any impacted employees as they look for new roles here at Google and beyond,” the Google rep said.

Shares of Google parent company Alphabet Inc rose by more than 2% on Friday.

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