An eight-months-pregnant Googler said her hand continued to shake after finding out she had lost her job in the mass layoffs announced Friday at Google. Katherine Wong said she has been working as a program manager at Google since November 2021 and will go on maternity leave this week.
A Google engineer fired after more than 16.5 years at the company said in a LinkedIn post that the tech giant sees staff as 100% “available.” Justin Moore, Google’s chief engineering officer, was also one of the 12,000 people affected by Google’s layoffs last week. Moore wrote that he learned he was fired through an automatic account deactivation at 3:00 a.m.
He clarified that he had not received any other information or communication regarding his dismissal. And even though he had received an email, he couldn’t access it because of the deactivation. It also makes it clear that work is not your life, and employers, especially big, faceless ones like Google, see you as 100% disposable,” Moore said.
The numbers for the job cuts fell at a recent company briefing to the public: 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its total workforce. The reason: the company is adjusting to investments during the coronavirus pandemic. Sundar Pichai had taken the decision to increase them significantly considering the company’s revenue growth. The reversal suggests the Google CEO admits he was wrong in his prediction, which would see the trend continue after the pandemic ends.
Over the past two years, we have experienced periods of spectacular growth. To accompany and feed this growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we know today,” writes Pichai.
We will pay employees for the entire notice period (minimum 60 days). We’ll also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks’ pay, plus two weeks for each additional year spent at Google, and we’ll accelerate the provision of at least 4 months of health coverage. We will pay bonuses for 2022. We will offer 6 months of health care, employment and immigration assistance to those interested, says CEO on treatment of employees in the United States. Workers from other parts of the world will be accommodated according to local laws and practices.
Google is following in the footsteps of other big tech companies. The tech sector has seen a serious downturn in recent months, following a surge in success as the world turned inward during the pandemic. The global economic slowdown, rising interest rates and regulatory battles have caused tech companies including Alphabet and Amazon to slow or stop hiring. At the end of August 2022, Snap laid off 1,300 people and reduced investments. In early November 2022, Twitter laid off half of its workforce following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the company.
Microsoft laid off about 1,000 employees across multiple divisions in October last year and has since gone on to lay off 10,000 people, or 5% of its global workforce. The team behind AltSpaceVR as well as the Mixed Reality Tool Kit team has been licensed in their entirety. AltSpaceVR was once one of the leading social virtual reality platforms, with the company being acquired by Microsoft in 2017, but it is now set to shut down in March and seems to be burying Microsoft’s metaverse ambitions. Microsoft Mesh will likely take its place, but it remains to be seen how committed the company is to the metaverse concept. Either way, these layoffs cast serious doubt on the future of HoloLens, which is currently struggling to keep its military contract with the US government.
The 8-month pregnant employee was fired after the positive performance review
Program manager Katherine Wong noted in a detailed LinkedIn post that she was fired even after a positive performance review. Below is an excerpt from his linkedIn post
#Googlelayoffs when I’m 8 months pregnant and just a week away from my maternity leave
It was great to know that I am one week closer to seeing my child after completing a full transfer paperwork before I get my permit as a program manager. However, the moment I checked my phone, my heart sank. I am one of the 12,000 people affected.
The first thought that came to my mind was Why me? Why now ? . It was hard to process and digest, especially the news that came after a positive performance review. As a PgM, my first instinct was to make a plan, but it’s definitely one of the hardest projects I’ve ever managed because the timing is so bad. It’s almost impossible for me to look for a job when I’m 34 weeks pregnant and about to go on maternity leave for months.
Texts and phone calls poured in throughout the day. People worry about my child and my well-being. I didn’t let my negative emotions get the better of me because I had some inside that needed to be taken care of, but I couldn’t control my shaking hands. It’s such a relieving feeling. I love #Google and especially my team, #GoogleDomains because I think we are a family. I am grateful that my team supports me even today. I feel proud to work in a team that feels like a startup and is one of the few that generates positive business growth in these difficult times.
I want to be open for work. But the reality is that I need to focus on the last part of my pregnancy journey and making sure my baby comes into the world safe and sound. I know everything will be fine and I will do my best to make it happen. Thanks for all the support and checking out. I continue to appreciate the opportunities and growth I have had during my time at Google. I hope our paths cross again with the people of Domains*!
Always open to conversations about work and stay open to opportunities.
#technological permissions #cutting2023 #cutting from work
100% available staff, says Justin Moore, affected by layoffs at Google
So, after more than 16.5 years at Google, it looks like I was fired via automatic account deactivation at 3am today as one of the lucky 12,000. I have no other information as I have not received any of the communications other than the “you let go” boilerplate website. [ndlr. vous avez t libr] (which I can’t access right now) told me I got it.
It’s been a (mostly) amazing 16 years and I’m really proud of the work my teams and I have done over the years. I got to work with some amazing people and really help a lot of our users around the world in civics and elections. I was extremely lucky.
It also brings home to you that work is not your life, and employers – especially big, faceless ones like Google – see you as 100% available. Live the life, not the work.
One of my father’s favorite quotes on occasions like this was from the Ballad of Sir Andrew Barton:
I’ll lie down and bleed for a while,
And then I will rise and fight again.
Job cuts that affected everyone
On Friday, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, sent an email to staff saying Google was laying off about 12,000 employees, or about 6% of its global workforce. Pichai said he takes full responsibility for the decisions that got us here.
He added that people were cut across all Alphabet teams, regardless of product areas, functions, levels and regions.
The layoffs affected workers across the company, including some with seven-figure salaries, those with positive performance reviews and some in leadership positions, The Information reported.
Google officials told the media that some of those who lost their jobs earned between $500,000 and $1 million a year.
Sources: Katherine Wong’s post, Justin Moore ticket
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