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Google CEO Says Employees Need To Be More Focused and More Productive

Facebook told its employees a few weeks ago that not everybody was pulling their weight as the company’s earnings declined. Faced with its own decrease in earnings, Google CEO Sundar Pichai placed a slightly different spin on his employee pitch. Pichai told employees:

"[T]here are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have. [We need to] create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer-focused. We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity."

Google's net income reportedly fell by 13% in the last quarter due to "pullbacks in spend by some advertisers" and "lower [product] engagement levels."

Pichai introduced his “Symplicity Sprint" initiative during a meeting with Google's 170,000 full-time employees who expressed concerns about layoffs. The company had previously announced that it would slow the pace of its hiring and investments through next year. He asked employees to work with “greater urgency” and “more hunger.” Pichai asked for input through his initiative. He asked employees to share their ideas through an internal survey, with management poised to follow up with questions. According to press reports, questions in the "Sprint" include asking how to eliminate waste and where to remove speed bumps. The company received employee feedback not long ago that they were unhappy with pay, promotions, and execution.

Press reports indicate that the tech industry has lost more than 30,000 jobs as of late July this year. The New York Times reported last year that some Google executives blamed Pichai for not moving fast enough on business decisions and implementing too much bureaucracy.