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'Undoubtedly Causing Anxiety': Google CEO Breaks Silence on Biggest Layoff Round in Company History Google CEO Sundar Pichai addressed employee concerns during a company-wide town hall meeting on Monday.

By Emily Rella

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Google made shockwaves through the tech sector last week when news of an abrupt Friday morning email reached the masses, indicating that nearly 12,000 employees would be cut from the company in the biggest set of mass layoffs in company history.

Employees across all levels reported immediately losing access to Google's employee systems, finding their accounts frozen and devices locked with little to no explanation as to what was going on.

On Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai hosted an all-hands meeting with Google employees in an attempt to address workers' concerns and questions regarding the sudden layoffs and the future of the company moving forward.

Related: Google Laid Off Employee Who Is 8 Months Pregnant

"I understand you are worried about what comes next for your work," Pichai told employees per CNBC. "Also very sad for the loss of some really good colleagues across the company. For those of you outside the U.S., the delay in being able to make and communicate decisions about roles in your region is undoubtedly causing anxiety."

Chief People Officer Fiona Cicconi told listeners that factors such as "time in role where experience or relationships are relevant and matter" played a role in deciding who would get chopped, alongside other standard factors like skill set, performance history, and hitting quotas.

Pichai admitted that he had miscalculated the lack of growth that followed after a massive hiring push for the company.

Related: Google CEO Addresses Employees on 'Aggressive' Cost-Cutting

Had Google continued to grow as predicted at the end of 2021, Pichai explained, the hiring push would have positioned the company to continue to succeed in its sector instead of being forced to "fall behind in many areas."

Employees, meanwhile, asked for accountability, with one question saying "responsibility without consequence seems like an empty platitude," and asked Pichai what exactly executives planned to do.

Though he offered limited detail, Pichai maintained that high-level executives would receive a "very significant reduction in their annual bonus" and that these bonuses would be evaluated based on company performance as many of these employees own Performance Share Units that can "reduce [their] equity grants if performance is not great."

Google came off of an extremely strong 2021, seeing a 41% increase in revenue year over year, Pichai said in the meeting.

Q3 2022, however, showed signs of trouble on the horizon. Revenue growth was at a 6% increase as opposed to the 41% from the same time period last year, with Pichai alluding to future layoffs in saying that employees could expect that "headcounts will slow" in Q4 2022.

"Our actions to slow the pace of hiring will become more apparent in 2023," he said at the time.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, is expected to announce Q4 2022 earnings on February 2.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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