Google Layoffs: Here’s What CEO Sundar Pichai Said About Reasons Behind Layoff, Severance Package And More

The memo shared by Pichai adds that severance package for employees outside US will be in line with the local practices
Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Global tech giant Google on Friday announced a mass layoff which will impact 12,000 of its employees. The decision was conveyed to the staff by CEO Sundar Pichai via an email. In the official communication, the CEO disclosed the reasons behind the layoff as well as the support that will be extended by the company to terminated employees. 

While the affected employees in the US who received the termination letter will be let go immediately, the process will be lengthier for staff based outside US in compliance with local laws and practices. In the memo shared by Pichai, the severance package for US-based employees was described in detail. 

The laid off employees will receive payment for the full notification period (minimum 60 days) as well as a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google. Further, the terminated staff will be entitled to 16 weeks of GSU vesting. A GSU is restricted stock unit certificate issued by Google where each certificate equals one share of Google. 

The memo shared by Pichai adds that severance package for employees outside US will be in line with the local practices. Explaining that the layoffs were a result of economic constraints, Pichai wrote, “Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.” 

Pichai also took responsibility for the decisions that led the company to these layoffs. He added, “I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. To fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices.” 

According to Pichai’s memo, the company has reviewed its most important priorities and as a result, it will let go of some people across product areas, functions, levels and regions.  

Towards the end of the note, he added, “All this work is a continuation of the “healthy disregard for the impossible” that’s been core to our culture from the beginning. When I look around Google today, I see that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That’s why I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days. Today is certainly one of them.” 

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