Fortune reports on what happened next:
As questions piled up over the weekend, Google CEO Sundar Pichai addressed the entire company in a meeting on Monday to answer questions, and announced then that top executives would take a pay cut this year as part of the company’s cost reduction measures, Business Insider reported. Pichai said that all roles above the senior vice president level will witness “very significant reduction in their annual bonus,” adding that for senior roles the compensation was linked to company performance. It was not immediately clear how big Pichai’s own pay cut would be.
Reuters also points out that Pichai “received a massive hike in salary a few weeks before Google announced layoffs.” But Fortune makes an interesting comparison:
Pichai’s move to cut the pay for senior executives comes only weeks after Apple’s Tim Cook announced his compensation would be 40% lower amid shareholder pressure. The iPhone maker had a strong 2022 and remains one of the few tech behemoths that hasn’t announced layoffs yet.
Last year Apple’s share price still dropped 27%, reports Forbes, and “According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is expected next month to report its first quarterly sales decline in over three years.”
Yet Apple seems to have avoided layoffs — which Forbes argues is because Apple didn’t hire aggressively during the pandemic.
Compared to the other Big Tech companies, Apple scaled its workforce at a relatively slow pace and has generally followed the same hiring rate since 2016. While there was a hiring surge in Silicon Valley during the pandemic, Apple added less than 7,000 jobs in 2020….
The tech companies undergoing layoffs right now hired fervently during their pandemic — and even before. Alphabet has consecutively expanded its workforce at least 10% annually since 2013, according to CNBC….
Since 2012, Meta has expanded its workforce by thousands each year. In 2020, Zuckerberg increased headcount by 30% — 13,000 workers. The following year, the social media platform added another 13,000 employees to its payroll. Those two years marked the biggest growth in the company’s history.
Amazon has initiated its plan to separate more than 18,000 white-collar professionals from its payroll. In 2021, the online retailer hired an estimated 500,000 employees, according to GeekWire, becoming the second-largest employer in the United States after Walmart. A year later, the company expanded its workforce by 310,000.
Entrepeneur supplies some context about those layoffs at Google:
Reports indicate qualifying staff who were let go will receive their full notification period salary plus a severance package beginning at 16 weeks’ pay and two additional weeks for every year of employment. Also part of the package: bonuses, vacation time, and health care coverage for up to six months will be paid for, along with job placement and immigration support.
Entrepreneur also notes reports that Google’s latest round of layoffs “affected 27 massage therapists across Los Angeles and Irvine.”