Google CEO says he hopes to make company 20% more environment friendly, hints at potential cuts

CEO of Alphabet and Google Sundar Pichai throughout press convention at the Chancellery in Warsaw, Poland on March 29, 2022.

Mateusz Wlodarczyk | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned he needs to make the company 20% more environment friendly and that might embrace headcount cuts because it reckons with a slew of financial challenges in addition to years of speedy hiring.

Speaking at Code Conference in Los Angeles, Pichai gave more particulars about how he’s pondering of creating the company run more effectively forward of financial uncertainty and a broader slowdown in advert spending, of which Google has been the most important beneficiary to date.

“The more we try to understand the macroeconomic, we feel very uncertain about it,” Pichai mentioned on stage Tuesday. “The macroeconomic efficiency is correlated to advert spend, shopper spend and so forth,” he added.

While he said he views macroeconomic factors as outside of his control, Pichai acknowledged the company has become “slower” after its headcount ballooned.

“We need to make certain as a company, when you have got fewer sources than earlier than, you might be prioritizing all the precise issues to be engaged on and your workers are actually productive that they will even have impression on the issues they’re engaged on so that is what we’re spending our time on.”

Host Kara Swisher asked the CEO how he planned to make the company more efficient, citing “Simplicity Sprint,” a recent internal project launched to re-focus the growing company and “get better results faster” as first reported by CNBC in July. While revenue is still growing, the effort came after the company reported its second consecutive quarter of weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue. 

However, prior to that, employees early in the year had given the company’s leadership particularly poor marks on pay, promotions and execution, citing the company’s growing bureaucracy, which executives acknowledged at the time. 

“Across everything we do, we can be slower to make decisions,” Pichai said Tuesday. “You look at it end-to-end and determine how to make the company 20% more productive.”

Pichai additionally gave more particular examples of how he hopes to do this. He gave a previous instance of aligning YouTube Music and Google Play Music into one product.

“Sometimes there are areas to make progress [where] you have three people making decisions, understanding that and bringing it down to two or one improves efficiency by 20%,” he gave in one other instance.

In a July all-hands assembly, HR chief Fiona Cicconi acknowledged industrywide issues about layoffs, however mentioned the company at the time was “not currently looking to reduce Google’s overall workforce.” She did, nonetheless, add “we can’t be sure of the economy in the future.”

Host Kara Swisher identified a typical time period related to Google workers working at the company for a very long time known as “rest and vest,” which was depicted on the six-season HBO fictional present
“Silicon Valley,” which referred to a Google-like company known as Hooli.

Smiling, Pichai mentioned he by no means watched the favored present. “Too close to home,” he remarked. “You watch TV to relax.” 


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