Google CEO Sundar Pichai informed the company last week that some 12,000 positions would be eliminated due to macroeconomic turmoil, impacting roughly 6% of the company’s workforce. Executives dismissed 31 massage therapists, 21 members of the Trust and Safety department, and two diversity czars, according to disclosures with the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification system obtained by The Daily Wire.
One employee with the title of “Diversity Manager” and another with the title of “Diversity Specialist” were listed in the disclosures. The latter position earned an average of $84,000 per year in base pay, $11,000 per year in bonuses, and $19,000 per year in stock benefits for expected annual compensation ranging between $90,000 and $148,000, according to an estimate from Glassdoor.
Individuals working in the Trust and Safety department are charged with “deciding what content is allowed on our platforms” while “preserving people’s right to express themselves freely at the colossal scale we operate,” according to a blog post shared on Google’s website. Employees with “Manager,” “Analyst,” and “Specialist” titles were dismissed from the business unit, according to the disclosures. Investigative journalists who were provided internal communications at Twitter recently found that employees in the Trust and Safety department coordinated with the FBI and intelligence agencies to censor political content.
Beyond the aforementioned positions, hundreds of employees bearing titles as divergent as “Product Analyst,” “Verification Engineer,” “Compliance Specialist,” and “Solutions Consultant” were impacted by the layoffs, according to the disclosures with the state of California, which requires companies to inform affected employees in the state 60 days before a mass layoff.
The dismissal of the employees classified as “Massage Therapists” comes as prominent companies in Silicon Valley face mockery for excessive employee perks that critics say distract unmotivated employees from their primary responsibilities. One former Google employee who posted footage of herself enjoying the company’s free meals and lavishly themed rooms later shared another tear-filled video showing herself after learning that she had been dismissed.
Twitter, which recently reduced headcount by as much as two-thirds amid Elon Musk’s efforts to make the company “much more engineering-driven,” auctioned a variety of kitchen equipment and furniture such as espresso machines, rotisserie ovens, commercial blenders, refrigerators, griddles, fryers, braising pans, and pizza ovens. Musk warned employees that they should expect “extremely hardcore” hours should they desire to stay at the company.
The headcount reduction at Twitter has contributed to investors requesting further dismissals at other prominent companies. The Children’s Investment Fund Management CEO Christopher Hohn called for Alphabet to slash headcount by another 25,000 workers, referencing excessive median salaries of $300,000 and rapid growth in payrolls, noting that Alphabet has “more than doubled” payrolls in only five years. “Cost discipline is now required as revenue growth is slowing,” he wrote in a letter to Pichai. “In a new era of slower revenue growth, aggressive cost management is essential.”
Altimeter Capital Management CEO Brad Gerstner likewise pressed Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to reform the company’s hiring practices and focus on core competencies, noting that headcount had tripled in the span of four years.
“It is a poorly kept secret in Silicon Valley that companies ranging from Google to Meta to Twitter to Uber could achieve similar levels of revenue with far fewer people,” he asserted. “I would take it a step further and argue that these incredible companies would run even better and more efficiently without the layers and lethargy that comes with this extreme rate of employee expansion.”