Some Google workers who have been laid off earned as much as $1 million: Report

  • Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced layoffs Friday that affect 12,000 positions at the Google owner.
  • Some employees making as much as $1 million were also cut, The Information reported.
  • Pichai told employees in a memo that he took “full responsibility for the decisions that got us here.”

Some of the 12,000 employees whose roles were cut by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on Friday included both high performers and seven-figure workers, The Information reported.

Google executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the outlet that some who lost their jobs included those with high scores on performance reviews or in executive positions earning between $500,000 and $1 million a year.

The average salary for an executive at the tech giant in the US was around $165,000, according to job site Indeed.

In January 2022, Insider reported that four executives received a $1 million pay raise as well as more stock options after they complained about wages and inflation.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

“We hired for a different economic reality than we face today,” Pichai said in an email to all employees Friday, taking “full responsibility for the decisions that got us here.”

An Insider source, whose employment at Google has been confirmed, said the company last month introduced a new “support check-in” policy that it described as a “compassionate-sounding euphemism for a performance warning badge on your personal record.”

The source told Insider that the new rating system constituted a “talk-to” from managers to employees: “It’s a sign that you need to shape up, or start looking for another job soon.”

They added that someone from human resources had described it as “tough love”, prompting the employee to comment: “It implied that the company is like a family to us and they get to discipline us like a parent.”

According to The Information, Google asked managers to put more employees in low-performing categories during performance reviews.

The system was particularly punitive for new recruits, said the employee who spoke to Insider. Someone who had only worked at the company for three months had already received a “support check-in” finding that they were not meeting all of their expectations, the employee added.

A spokesperson for the Alphabet Workers Union told Insider earlier this month that there had been no complaints from new employees. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider asking for an update on sentiment following the layoffs.

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