Google CEO Sundar Pichai faced the ire of Google employees over the company’s cost-saving measures.
Like many companies in the tech industry, Google has been slowing hiring, cutting costs, and has left the door open to layoffs over economic fears. According to CNBC, employees are not impressed with the company’s actions and made that clear to Pichai in an all-hands meeting this week.
One of the more popular questions Pichai was asked was why the company is “nickel-and-diming” employees when “Google has record profits and huge cash reserves.” The “nickel-and-diming” was a reference to the company cutting travel, swag, and entertainment budgets.
“How do I say it?” Pichai responded. “Look, I hope all of you are reading the news, externally. The fact that you know, we are being a bit more responsible through one of the toughest macroeconomic conditions underway in the past decade, I think it’s important that as a company, we pull together to get through moments like this.”
Pichai later doubled down on his response, making the point that more money isn’t always needed to have fun.
“I remember when Google was small and scrappy,” he added. “Fun didn’t always — we shouldn’t always equate fun with money. I think you can walk into a hard-working startup and people may be having fun and it shouldn’t always equate to money.”
Despite Pichai’s responses, CNBC says the meeting was rather heated. The CEO didn’t help his case when he dodged questions about trimming executive compensation as a way to cut costs, showing that employees clearly believe they’re being asked to make sacrifices that executives are immune to.