Hedge fund billionaire asks Sundar Pichai to lay off 1.5 lakh Google employees


Hedge fund billionaire Christopher Hohn advised Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai to further reduce 1.5 lakh jobs in order to make the company’s cost base into a “right size”. This comes as Google carried out the largest downsizing in its history by firing around 12,000 employees, or about 6 per cent of the workforce.

In a now-viral letter, Hohn acknowledged that firing people is never an easy choice, but he also informed Pichai that Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has more workers than necessary and that the workforce needs to be reduced by 20 per cent.

“I am encouraged to see that you are now taking some action to right size Alphabet’s cost base and understand that it is never an easy decision to let people go,” Christopher Hohn wrote to Sundar Pichai.

“The decision to cut 12,000 jobs is a step in the right direction, but it does not even reverse the very strong headcount growth of 2022. Ultimately, the management will need to go further…. I believe the management should aim to reduce headcount to around 150,000, which is in line with Alphabet’s headcount at the end of 2021. This would require a total headcount reduction in the order of 20 percent.”

Google’s decision to lay off 12,000 employees has taken the affected employees and techies by surprise. They are now taking to social media to question one of Silicon Valley’s tech titans’ decisions.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai apologised to employees in an email, saying he was deeply sorry for the move and accepted full responsibility for the decisions that led the company to this position.

Pichai informed Google employees via email on January 20 that he had some upsetting news to share. He claimed that the business had chosen to eliminate 12,000 positions from its workforce.

“I’m deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here,” he said.

Also Read: ‘Board should fire Sundar Pichai’: Google layoffs trigger anger, sorrow, disbelief

Also Read: ‘Time to go home?’ Indian techie urges others to return to India after layoffs at Google, Amazon, Meta