Google CEO tells employees they don’t need money to have fun


Google CEO Sundar Pichai is pictured in a red chair at the 2022 Code Conference.

It’s easy to tell employees that fun doesn’t have to cost money when you have a lot of money, dare I say.
Photo: Jerod Harris (Getty Images)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who is one of the the world’s richest companiesmost likely doesn’t want to talk about money with its employees while the Big Tech giant is in the middle of cut costs and delay hiring. But since employees asked for it, he wants them to do one thing: stop equating “fun” with “money.”

Pichai .’s commentsmade at a company-wide meeting earlier this week, came in a new report from CNBCwho has obtained an audio recording of the meeting. At the meeting, which Pichai held in New York with a live audience of Googlersemployees asked the CEO why the company “embezzled” them by limiting travel and cutting budgets and perks for entertainment, especially at one point when the company had “record profits and huge cash reserves”.

In response, the Google chief said the company was just “being a little more responsible” amid one of the toughest macroeconomic situations of the past decade.

At another point in the meeting, Pichai spoke of: how cost savings affected job satisfaction. He referred to the days when Google was “small and sloppy” in its attempt to justify changes in the company’s culture and benefits.

“I remember Google was still small and cluttered,” Pichai said at the meeting, as reported by CNBC. “Fun wasn’t always — we shouldn’t always equate fun with money. I think you can walk into a hard-working startup and people have fun and it shouldn’t always equate to money.”

The question about company perks is not without basis. For years, Big Tech employees at Google and elsewhere have benefited from mind-boggling perks, at least to us peasants. These include onsite massage therapists, cooking classes, at-home fitness, and art programs, according to the “Benefits” page on Google Career.

It’s not clear if any of these perks will go away, though some swag is going bye. Google officials who spoke at the all-inclusive meeting did tell employees to expect smaller and more casual holiday and New Year’s celebrations, specifically instructing them to “try not to go over the top.”

Regarding the travel restrictions, some Google employees pointed out that telling employees was contradictory they had to follow the company’s return policy, but also emphasized that there was no need to travel or interact in person. In April, Google announced that employees should at least be in its physical offices three days a week.

Pichai said he understood that the new travel policy was not ideal. He explained that if seeing each other in person would help employees work better, sometimes they could.

“If you haven’t seen your team in a while and it will help you get together in person, I think you can,” said the Google chief. “I think that’s why we don’t say no to travel, we give discretion to teams.”

Specifically, Google officials said the company had no plans to make any changes when it came to staff increases, stocks and bonuses, pointing out that they would continue to pay employees at the top end of the market so we can be competitive. ”

Pichai echoed the sentiment, saying the company was “committed” to take care of employees. That probably also includes the highest-earning executives, who earned a total compensation of between at least $14 million and more than $28 million, according to the parent company Alphabet’s files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pichai’s total compensation was $6.3 million last year.

The Google chief has not responded to: questions from employees on whether the company would lower executive pay.

Gizmodo contacted Google on Saturday for comment, but received no response at the time of publication.

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