August 8, 2022

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Productivity and focus must improve

2 min read

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

Google is launching a new effort called “Simplicity Sprint” in an effort to improve efficiency and improve employee focus during an uncertain economic environment.

The Alphabet company had its regular all-hands last Wednesday, and the tone was somewhat urgent as employees expressed concern over layoffs and CEO Sundar Pichai asked employees for input, according to attendees and related internal documentation viewed by CNBC. Google’s productivity as a company isn’t where it needs to be even with the headcount it has, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in the meeting.

“I wanted to give some additional context following our earnings results, and ask for your help as well,” Pichai opened, referring to the company’s Q2 earnings report on Tuesday. “It’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead.”

He added, “There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the headcount we have.” He asked employees to help “create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused. We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity.”

It comes after the company reported its second consecutive quarter of weaker-than-expected earnings and revenue on Tuesday. Revenue growth slowed to 13% in the quarter from 62% a year earlier, when the company was benefiting from the post-pandemic reopening and consumer spending was on the rise. CFO Ruth Porat said she expected some of the challenges to continue in the near-term but the company doesn’t give formal guidance.

It also comes after Pichai recently announced that it would slow the pace of hiring and investments through 2023, asking employees to work “with greater urgency” and “more…

2022-07-31 11:10:00

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