Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Confirms Hiring Slowdown

Another tech giant confirms a hiring slowdown, as Google’s Sundar Pichai also warns of investment consolidation in staff memo

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has signalled that it will change direction in the face of economic pressures.

Pichai in an email to staff on Tuesday, warned that Alphabet will plans to slow down hiring and consolidate investments through 2023.

Google is not alone. Microsoft earlier this week confirmed it had begun cutting less than 1 percent of jobs as part of a structural adjustment, after warning the management the Windows and Office divisions in May to adopt a more conservative approach to hiring new people.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai

Hiring slowdown

That move came as the world faces inflationary pressures, rising fuel costs and food prices, caused in part by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the economic fallout from lockdowns imposed during the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Other tech firms are also making workforce adjustments.

Facebook parent Meta Platforms last week decreased its target for adding software engineers this year from 10,000 to around 6,000 to 7,000.

Tesla meanwhile is already restructuring its operations and is in the process of axing 10,000 jobs, after Elon Musk announced he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and planned to cut headcount by 10 percent and “pause all hiring worldwide.”

Now Google is indicated its hiring intentions going forward.

“Like all companies, we’re not immune to economic headwinds,” Pichai wrote in the memo, which was viewed by CNBC. “We need to be more entrepreneurial working with greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.”

Pichai started by acknowledging that “the uncertain global economic outlook has been top of mind.”

Alphabet is already feeling the heat.

During the first quarter the firm missed analyst expectations, and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat warned another rough period could be ahead.

Shares in firm are also down 21 percent so far this year, falling alongside the rest of the tech industry.

Hiring slowdown

Still, Pichai said in the memo that the company has hired 10,000 employees in the second quarter.

“Because of the hiring progress achieved so far this year, we’ll be slowing the pace of hiring for the rest of the year, while still supporting our most important opportunities,” he wrote, according to CNBC. “For the balance of 2022 and 2023, the company will focus on hiring on engineering, technical and other critical roles.”

A Google spokesperson reportedly declined to comment.

Googl will also be more particular about where it spends money during this period of economic uncertainty.

The firm has typically invested heavily in research and other projects.

“In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes,” Pichai wrote. In other instances, it will mean “pausing development and re-deploying resources to higher priority areas,” he said.

Pichai ended the note by telling employees that “scarcity breeds clarity” and emphasising that “I’m excited for us to rise to the moment again.”