Billions of dollars were spent buying Mandiant for no good reason, while bizarrely, R&D is getting the axe:
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, speaking at the Code Conference last week, suggested the tech company needed to become 20% more efficient — a comment some in the industry took to mean headcount reductions could soon be on the table. Now, it seems that prediction may be coming true. TechCrunch has learned, and Google confirmed, the company is slashing projects at its in-house R&D division known as Area 120.
The company on Tuesday informed staff of a “reduction in force” that will see the incubator halved in size, as half the teams working on new product innovations heard their projects were being canceled. Previously, there were 14 projects housed in Area 120, and this has been cut down to just seven. Employees whose projects will not continue were told they’ll need to find a new job within Google by the end of January 2023, or they’ll be terminated. It’s not clear that everyone will be able to do so.
The whims of executives regularly change. Right now, Pichai and his deputies seem to be in cost slashing mode, and that means cutting loose entire teams and disrupting lives. Of course, Pichai will not be doing any belt-tightening of his own. A powerful tech CEO like him stays well compensated no matter what the bottom line is.