Don’t equate fun with money: Sundar Pichai to employees

In a recent interaction with employees, Pichai was bombarded with questions from employees related to travel and entertainment budget cuts, productivity, hybrid work and potential layoffs, reports CNBC.
Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai

NEW DELHI: Alphabet and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, has advised employees not to mix fun with earning more money, as little things in life can bring more joy than what money can buy.

In a recent interaction with employees, Pichai was bombarded with questions from employees related to travel and entertainment budget cuts, productivity, hybrid work and potential layoffs, reports CNBC.

"I remember when Google was small and scrappy. We shouldn't always equate fun with money. I think you can walk into a hard-working startup and people may be having fun and it shouldn't always equate to money," he apparently told employees.

Pichai responded to a question about why the company has shifted from "rapidly hiring and spending to equally aggressive cost saving."

"I'm a bit concerned that you think what we've done is what you would define as aggressive cost saving. I think it's important we don't get disconnected. You need to take a long-term view through conditions like this," Pichai elaborated.

Pichai aims to make the company 20 per cent more efficient, hinting at job cuts.

Reports have surfaced that Alphabet is giving some workers 60 days to apply for a new role at the company if their jobs are set to be cut.

Last month, Google fired more than 50 workers at its incubator Area 120 and gave them extra 30 days to find another job at the company.

A Google spokesman was quoted as saying that nearly 95 per cent of employees found new roles within the notice period.

Pichai said the company is "still investing in long-term projects like quantum computing. But it's important "to be smart, to be frugal, to be scrappy, to be more efficient."

"We're committed to taking care of our employees. I think we're just working through a tough moment macroeconomically and I think it's important we as a company align and work together," said Pichai.

Earlier, addressing the gathering at the Code Conference in the US, Pichai said that the more the company tries to understand the macroeconomic conditions, it feels very uncertain about it.

"The macroeconomic performance is correlated to ad spend, consumer spend and so on," he told the audience.

Google has suspended hiring new employees and reportedly told some existing employees to "shape up or ship out" if expectations are not met.

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