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During layoff season, Google Too prepares for purge and may cut 10,000 jobs: report

Google’s outlier status amid layoffs by other tech giants is set to fade, as its parent company Alphabet also plans to lay off a significant chunk of its workforce — around 6%, or 10,000 people. This will be done after identifying those who are performing below expectations, insiders said. But at the heart of the impending cut is the difficult – and worsening – global financial situation, according to the tech news portal Information.

Team leaders have been asked to assess staff in a new “grading and performance improvement plan”. The purge could start in early 2023, which means a few more weeks.

In the old performance appraisal system, managers had to place 2% of employees in this category.

Google or Alphabet have yet to confirm any layoff plans. NDTV has contacted Google for comment on the report.

But chief executive Sundar Pichai alluded to it a few months ago. He had said that Google believed as a company that “when you have fewer resources than before, you prioritize all the good things to work on and your people are really productive…”.

In his report, Information said the system would first allow managers to decide not to pay bonuses. “As layoffs have spread across Silicon Valley, Google has stood out by not laying off employees so far. But as outside pressure mounts on the company to improve employee productivity, a new performance management system could help managers weed out thousands of underperforming employees from early next year,” he reported.

Several big tech companies had bet on the surge in online activity during Covid to continue once the pandemic subsided as well. But that didn’t happen.

Facebook founder and Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg said so when he announced the loss of 11,000 jobs, or about 13% of the company’s workforce.

At Twitter, an overload of change by new owner Elon Musk meant that 60% of some 7,000 employees disappeared. He says he won’t settle for losses, so he has to restructure almost everything.

Google or Alphabet have also come under pressure from investors.

Activist investor TCI Fund Management recently called on the company to cut costs by cutting staff, saying it needed to adapt to an era of slower growth, according to Reuters news agency. The fund, an investor in Alphabet since 2017 with a $6 billion stake, said the company has “too many employees and the cost per employee is too high.”

TCI said Alphabet pays some of the highest salaries in Silicon Valley, noting that the company has grown its workforce by 20% per year since 2017.

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