Is Google Quietly Laying Off Engineers?


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It’s tough to keep things quiet these days, especially with all that Twittering. Unnamed engineers drowning their overhead redundancy woes over the weekend passed on the news—with documentation—to a Berkeley grad student Bay Area executive that Google was trying to keep engineer layoffs out of the press.

So much for that. She tweeted that information to her closest Silicon Valley friends. It hit the blogs, and now it’s here. Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone, remembering her tendency to blab and be right about his own company, vouches for Mary Hodder’s credibility.

Is Google Quietly Laying Off Engineers?

Hodder’s series of tweets (most of them) go like this:

Talkng to friend laid off from Google Friday. Others in their eng. gp as well. They don’t want to discuss publicly, but R ok w. my telling.

We think Goog is quietly laying ppl off so as not to alert press. Mgrs have mandate to reduce headcnt, no matter how critical the project.

oddly, before this wk 2 othr Goog frnds told me uncomfortably they want to leave..was shocked, they hav grt jobs, but pressure

thot Goog just wasn’t fun place anymore, but now think it could be really unpleasantly bad for ppl.

don’t know, just anecdotal these ppl sounded pretty uncomfortable. working 18 hr days .. if you have the big stock, might make you want to go.

my ?, is goog doing this quietly, trying to keep severances under control, these are the least likely to talk ppl.. so..

don’t know but the severance pkgs for engs don’t sound too good. don’t know if due to longevity=they got stock before, or what

Google laying off workers isn’t news. They’ve been slicing through temp, hourly, and contract workers for months. But if what Hodder says is true, these are engineers who’ve worked for Google half its life being cut. And that suggests there may be more trouble in the Googtopia than originally thought. It could be even more disturbing because as of Google’s last quarterly report, the company blew the doors off analyst estimates and was doing better financially than anybody.

Secrecy from Google has been a disturbing trend for the publicly traded company lately. In December the Associated Press obtained copies of a document Google filed with the SEC in paper form only in an effort to keep the news about 10,000 contractor job cuts off the Web. Interestingly, most postings referencing that AP article point to a Google hosted version, which is no longer there.


Is Google Quietly Laying Off Engineers?

Did Google remove this? Well, if anybody should know that the Web is not a place to keep things quiet, it’s Google. Using the company’s own search engine one can find that AP article elsewhere, so long as Google keeps indexing the world’s information.


Is Google Quietly Laying Off Engineers?
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  • http://napsterization.org/stories Mary Hodder


    I’m not a grad student anymore. I’m now VP Product at Apisphere and in between grad school and Apisphere I founded a company, Dabble, for three years.

    Regarding the concept of blabbing, I actually hear tons of confidential stuff and never tell anyone (certainly not twitter, blogs or the press) because it’s not appropriate.

    However, in this case, I wanted a marker that Google had let people go, at a date and time, so that the next time and the next time, there are a series of markers which would be a story. But I don’t think on it’s own, this one thing is particularly news. Hence the tweets, and no blog post at napsterization.


    • http://www.mysolopop.com Solopop

      What does your new company Dabble do? What kinda services do you offer there?

    • Jason Lee Miller

      Sorry about that. Had seen you referred to as a grad student and silly me believed it. Will fix. As for “blab.” It’s a rather charged up verb and was meant more tongue in cheek than anything. A public company privately laying off critical staff is important. Thanks for spreading the news.

  • http://randomplaza.com/help.anonymous.php Brave Agent Pubeit

    I notice the petitiononline.com petition in the article. Has anyone ever taken those seriously? I see them used a lot but I’ve never seen a company take them seriously and they just laugh and ignore them.

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