TECHNOLOGY

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Delays Hiring

Another tech giant confirms hiring slowdown as Google’s Sundar Pichai also warns of investment consolidation in employee note

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has indicated it will change direction in the face of economic pressures.

Pichai warned staff in an email on Tuesday that Alphabet plans to slow hiring and consolidate investment through 2023.

Google is not alone. Microsoft confirmed earlier this week that it had begun cutting less than 1 percent of its jobs as part of a structural adjustment process after warning management of its Windows and Office divisions in May to take a more conservative approach to hiring new people.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Hiring delay

That move came as the world faced inflationary pressures, rising fuel costs and food prices, caused in part by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the economic fallout from lockdowns imposed during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Other technology companies are also adjusting their workforce.

Facebook parent Meta Platforms last week lowered the target for adding software engineers this year from 10,000 to about 6,000 to 7,000.

Tesla, meanwhile, is already restructuring its operations and is slashing 10,000 jobs after Elon Musk announced he had “a super bad feeling” about the economy and planned to cut its workforce by 10 percent and “all to stop hiring worldwide”.

Now, Google has indicated that it has its hiring intentions going forward.

“Like all businesses, we are not immune to economic headwinds,” Pichai wrote in the memo, which was reviewed by CNBC. “We need to be more entrepreneurial with more urgency, sharper focus and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.”

Pichai began by acknowledging that “the uncertain global economic outlook was top of mind”.

Alphabet is already feeling the heat.

During the first quarter, the company missed analyst expectations and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat warned that another difficult period could be ahead.

Shares in firm have also fallen 21 percent so far this year, along with the rest of the tech industry.

Hiring delay

Still, Pichai said in the memo that the company hired 10,000 employees in the second quarter.

“Due to the progress we have made in hiring so far this year, we will slow the hiring pace for the remainder of the year while continuing to support our key opportunities,” he wrote, according to CNBC. “For the remainder of 2022 and 2023, the company will focus on hiring engineering, technical and other critical roles.”

A Google spokesperson declined to comment.

Google will also be more specific about where it spends money during this period of economic uncertainty.

The company has typically invested heavily in research and other projects.

“In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes,” Pichai wrote. In other cases, it means “interrupting development and redeploying resources to higher-priority areas,” he said.

Pichai closed the note by telling employees that “scarcity creates clarity” and emphasized that “I am delighted that we are moving back to the moment”.

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