Google:- Layoffs – 2023 – January

Background

With everything going on in the world, I have desperately needed to take some down time.

I took some this past weekend.

Steve D’Aurora Likes

John S. Davis II ( Personhood )

Erin Relford ( Posted By )

“Hey Google, what is Googlyness?”On Friday, my team lost our fearless leader and TL John S. Davis II . We were robbed of the chance to say goodbye to:

– one of the FEW Black men in leadership
– a highly professional and well qualified, technical PhD
– a highly respected colleague known throughout the company

His departure sent shockwaves across many lines of business.

If you know the team, we handle the really HARD problems in emerging tech from AI, robotics, to Health. The problems that you can’t just “google” to figure out how to tackle.

John was what made a team of seasoned professionals from machine learning to legal work. He provided psychological safety in a sea of ambiguity and leadership when hard problems became even more difficult. There’s a reason the team had a great reputation throughout Alphabet.

I personally am going to miss my sparring partner 🙂 Lord knows I gave him grief on any given day, but he always allowed the space to voice my opinions and the safety to say, “John I honestly don’t know how to handle this.”

I’m not alone in this grief. And I hope for better days as a team as we navigate our new normal. But to the Googlers we lost and the ones that remain, our culture of Googleyness is unique and core to who we are. Respect for users AND… each other.

Today those of us local were able to say goodbye, but on behalf of the core team and the Labcoat community who couldn’t be here, thank you John for making this the best damn team one could experience at Google❤️

Kate Howells

Product, Sales and Strategy Operations Leader, Display & Video, Global Advertisers and Agencies

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Laid off in labor, now that’s something I never thought I’d say! Last Thursday, 1/19/23 I gave birth to my second child, Ronin Mark Watson, at 8:59 pm. On 1/20/23 at 7:05 am while in the hospital bed holding my hours-old newborn I learned that I was part of the #thegolden12K of Googlers who had been laid off. I was a Googler for 9.5 years.

I’ve read before that job loss is one of the top ten most stressful experiences you can have in life, and that welcoming a new child is one of the happiest. So what happens in the extremely unusual circumstance that those things collide within ten hours? A very intense and emotionally confusing postpartum hospital stay. The waves of physical exhaustion and pain, hormones, adrenaline, shock, feelings of loss mixed with feelings of love for my newborn and my incredible birth and life partner Alan Watson ebbed and flowed into each other. For those 48 hours I was unable to make sense of any of it. There were tears, there were snuggles, there were long talks with my husband, words of encouragement from angelic L&D nurses and a flood of supportive messages from former colleagues and friends about both pieces of news that brought me back to tears. I let myself feel and process it all, no holding back.

So what now…

There’s something called the peak-end rule in psychology that people judge an experience based on its peak and based on its end. The peak of this experience is over and will be one of the most memorable days of my life to say the least. But it’s not the end. If there’s anything Googlers and moms can do best it’s to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps.

I’ll approach this in waves. For now, I am going to continue as planned in taking time with my family to heal and adjust, now re-terming it as “life maternity leave”. I am going to do some radical family and self care.

Next, I’m going to be a sponge. I’ve gotten so many great encouraging notes, pearls of wisdom, career advice and offers for help already. Although I’m not ready to totally process those now I’m keeping them all to come back to later. Once I get into the mode of exploring I’ll be looking for all the inspiration and networking I can get to re-envision and forge a new path and will take people up on those offers. Thank you for all of the support and I will ask for more!

Lastly, down the line I will get back out there professionally. Alan and I have decided the best place to do that for our family (especially now) is in the Phoenix area, so I’ll be looking to make some magic in the Southwest. The end point isn’t a clear picture for me amidst this newborn haze, but I know I can take back control of this story and when I look back I’ll say I’m so grateful this led me to {fill in the blank}. There’s going to be some great things ahead for me and my fellow new-Xooglers (virtual hugs to you all)

#googlelayoffs #layoffs #google

So what now…

Alex Kinnier

Co-founder & CEO at Upside

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Google was my home for some of my most important professional years. My heart goes out to those impacted by last week’s layoff. It might be hard to imagine right now, but I’m also excited for the innovation, energy and ideas you will bring to your next adventures. There’s a strong community of Xooglers ready and willing to help out. My network is your network…so please reach out, especially if you are interested in joining our company Upside.

Justin Moore

Ex-Googler (Engineering Manager)

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So after over 16.5 years at Google, I appear to have been let go via an automated account deactivation at 3am this morning as one of the lucky 12,000. I don’t have any other information, as I haven’t received any of the other communications the boilerplate “you’ve been let go” website (which I now also can’t access) said I should receive.

It was a (largely) wonderful 16 years, and I’m really proud of the work that I and my teams did over the years. I got to work with some great people and really help a lot of our users around the world in the Civics and Elections space. I was so incredibly fortunate.

This also just drives home that work is not your life, and employers — especially big, faceless ones like Google — see you as 100% disposable. Live life, not work.

One of my dad’s favorite quotes for moments like this was from the Ballad of Sir Andrew Barton:

“I’ll lay me down and bleed a-while,
And then I’ll rise and fight again.”

Amanda Halbersma

Xoogler – Communications Lead

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So ! My time at Google has come to an end today. I’m one of the 12,000 who woke up to the dreaded email detailing the terms of separation.

This starts another new chapter for me, and as a mom of three with a mortgage, I don’t exactly *Love* ambiguity?? But every big change in my life has given me a Chance… to re-examine, to rebuild, and bring a wiser, stronger self to whatever’s next.

So I’m actually feeling empowered! Google’s gracious terms allow me a little time to think about my Next. I still love storytelling, collaborating across organizations, and building trust with audiences. I’ve also grown to love Executive Comms, (but that may be because I’ve been supporting Google’s amazing Chief Diversity Officer Melonie Parker).

If you know my work, I hope you’ll consider giving this post a like or share. As you know if you’ve been through something like this: Support is Huge. Even on the brightest days. So here’s to brighter days!

charlaé Washington

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“The proper lesson to learn from surprises is that the world is surprising. We should not use past surprises as a guide to future boundaries; we should use past surprises as an admission that we have no idea what might happen next.”

After ~15 years at Google, I was let go as part of the great #GoogleLayoffs. I started at Google right out of undergrad and the last 15 years have been an incredible and unforgettable experience.

Though I was there for almost the entirety of my professional career, for me Google was a dynamic place, and I never got complacent. Along with other talented folks, I led Google to some of its firsts and bests in the DEI and people spaces. I hired, learned from, and mentored some of the most brilliant people. I stayed curious, entrepreneurial, and scrappy, delivering impact even as the company grew 10x in size from when I started. I had FUN and made many life long friends and ride or die colleagues.

I ate well at Google (figuratively and literally 😂) and left nothing on the table. So even though my time there has come to an abrupt end, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity and affirmed in the amazing talent Google was lucky to have had in me.

Google’s decision may have been random, but God never is. I’m confident that this exact step needed to happen at this exact time, even if I can’t fully make sense of it right now.

As a type A planner and perfectionist, one of my biggest lessons over the last year (that I am still growing in), is that there is terrifying, liberating, beautiful power in surrendering to the unknown. I actually don’t know what’s next for me professionally yet, but I will allow myself the space and grace to figure it out when I’m ready, and not a moment before. For now, the priority is rest bc after a lifetime of going above and beyond, ya girl is TIRED.

To those who wish to help: thoughts and prayers are great; social capital is better. If you’re familiar with my work please consider leaving a thoughtful recommendation for me via LinkedIn or letting me know of opportunities you think might be a mutual fit. Thank you!

xoxo,
charlaé

Saintley Wong

VP, Global Business Practices at Google Cloud

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Pseudo Retired…I guess that’s my current status.

I’ve had the weekend to digest being RIF’d by Google along with 13,000 other talented Googlers. While the initial shock has worn off, the sting of not understanding the rationale remains. This comes from someone who had an inside view of developments…though I was clearly not within the innermost circle to have seen this blindside coming.

First and foremost to my surviving team, I want to wish you all the best. You are an amazing group of incredibly talented, obsessively passionate and hyper capable professionals. I learned something from each of you with every challenge we overcame. The company has no idea how much it depends on what you do. Clouds growth to $7B+/Qtr is built on your backs. It was an honor to be part of this team, and I’m rooting for you to keep the momentum going forward.

Personally I will take some to get adjusted to my new situation. I’ve charged ahead the entirety of my career, and this is a good reminder that we should work to live, and not live to work. I’ve never been one to let my job define who I am. Understand what matters to you, and find the balance which allows you to achieve that.

Perhaps the right opportunity will find me, but until then, there is snow in Tahoe, birdies on the golf course and the Niners taking down the Cowboys to keep me smiling.

Pamela Stiehler

Senior Commercial Counsel at MessageBird (ex-Oracle)

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No! This shocked me, Saintley. You are the definition of a compassionate and supportive leader and I adored working with you at Oracle all those years. I learned so much working together, and – like anyone who worked for you – I always knew I had your support. When you are ready, or the universe is ready to share it with you, I have no doubt you will select a fabulous fork in the road. In the meantime, know you have a posse out here rooting for and supporting you.

Tom Clements

Vice President of Sales for North America- Strategic Accounts | Sales Leader |

Saintley, It was good catching up with you prior to the holidays. You have a really good perspective on the layoff and should be proud of the business you and many others built at GCP over the past few years. I am still thankful for all the help you provided during our time at Oracle and am sure when you are ready your network will have jobs lined up for you. You have a solid reputation.

Don’t forget to add a little more wheel time to the M2. In the meantime enjoy the time off with the family.

Edward du Boulay

Head of Legal (EMEA Cloud Verticals) at Google

Saintley I am so sad to say goodbye to you in these circumstances, but it was a genuine pleasure to be able to work alongside you and your incredible team these past years. I wish you every success in whatever comes next!

Angela Alejandro

M&A Integration Lead, Global Business Practices, Google Cloud

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Saintley, I’m still processing the shock of your absence. It has been a pleasure working with and for you, though I regret it wasn’t nearly long enough. Your support on all things M&A will resonate well into the future. I wish you all the very best during this transition to whatever is next for you.

Richard Allison

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I have the utmost respect for you and your work and know you will find something great if you so choose. Google let a great one get away…huge mistake. Put me on your long list of references!

 

Reply

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Thanks Rich. Everything I learned about leadership and compassion came from working for you. That was the best chapter of my work life and built the foundation for everything else I’ve achieved. We have to get together soon.

Gergely Orosz

Follow for observations on software engineering and engineering management. | Writing The Pragmatic Engineer, the #1 technology newsletter on Substack. Advisor at mobile.dev.

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Today was a sad day with lots of large layoffs announced. But there’s also good news, and I’d like to share this instead: 93,000 employees at Mercedes-Benz – including SWEs – awoke to this:

The company announced paying out a €7,300 bonus to all employees in Germany, as a profit sharing bonus. This bonus coms on top of the “regular” bonuses people have (e.g. the 13 and 14th months’ salary). It’s the largest bonus employees received in the history of the company, and above the previous “top limit” for bonuses.

It’s an interesting contrast on how Mercedes – that is traditionally not a tech company – is rewarding employees and sharing it’s profits, companies like Google or Microsoft – both which are massively profitable, Microsoft closing their most profitable year in 2022 – have announced large layoffs the same week. Google announced today letting go 12,000 people (8% of staff) and Microsoft on Wednesday eliminating 10,000 positions (5% of staff).

I talked with software engineers at Mercedes, in Germany, and it feels like the tide might be changing: perhaps “traditional” companies like Mercedes that take care of employees, and share profits, are not as “boring” as they were perceived, and the Big Tech companies now laying off are not as generous or amazing as they seemed the past several years?

And yes, the bonus amounts Mercedes pays are not at the level of what most Big Tech companies award to e.g. senior engineers and above: but at a time when many employees are disappointed in their employer, people at Mercedes are very pleasantly – and unexpectedly – surprised at the outcome.

Full press release for Mercedes: https://lnkd.in/eNVWjz2G

My analysis of the Big Tech layoffs and the impact on the industry: https://lnkd.in/eyuMxHKp

#mercedes #bonuses #google #microfocus

I write about software engineering at Big Tech and startups. Subscribe to The Pragmatic Engineer at https://lnkd.in/grXSBkVw for deep dives on these topics.

Brad Wu

Brad Wu ( Product Finance-Google Cloud | Ex Amazon Finance | MBA )

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Yesterday morning I found that I am one of the 12,000 employees impacted by Google’s layoff. It was very difficult to me as obviously this is not the way how I want to end my career at Google. Though the past 9 months is relatively short, I feel grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing talents at Google and I learned so much in supporting Google Cloud’s multi-billion products.

Though the journey is cut short, I would not trade anything for this experience. When I decided to leave Amazon looking for other opportunities, I turned down many other offers like MSFT and Meta to join Google as I think it’s one of the best companies and employers in the world. I still think so. However, it seems I’m meant to do something else at somewhere else.

As I come to terms with this news and look forward, please let me know of any relevant opportunities based on my background in financial analysis, FP&A, budget planning, strategy and business analysis. Being an international in the US makes the situation trickier for me as I only have finite number of days to find a new job. Any likes, shares and comments are greatly appreicated to reach more people.

Thanks again to everyone who have been supporting the chosen ones! It means a world!
#google #googlelayoffs #layoffs2023

Listening

Listening to India Arie perform James Taylor’s Secrets of Life.Soul diva India Arie performs James Taylor’s song “The secret o’ life” at a James Taylor tribute in 2006. Gorgeously and respectfully sung by India, accompanied bij James’ band.

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