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Google CEO Sundar Pichai tells upset employees to not ‘equate fun with money’ at all-hands meeting

Google has been slashing travel and entertainment budgets, and employees aren’t happy.

During a recent all-hands meeting in which recent cost-cutting measures that have been affecting employees were brought up, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made a number of interesting, less than promising statements that seem to suggest things won’t be changing or improving anytime soon.

Speaking with employees, Pichai noted: “How do I say it? Look, I hope all of you are reading the news, externally. The fact that you know, we are being a bit more responsible through one of the toughest macroeconomic conditions underway in the past decade, I think it’s important that as a company, we pull together through moments like this.”

Pichai went on to note that he remembers when “Google was small and scrappy” and that employees “shouldn’t always equate fun with money.” The statement including not equating fun with money comes on the heels of Google slashing travel and entertainment budgets for employees, in addition to considering potential layoffs, as uncovered through audio sourced from CNBC.

Google glass building with big Google sign on the front of the building.
© Lex Tai, Getty Images

As for why, Google has been attempting to adapt to recent economic challenges as of late with CNBC pointing to things including “a potential recession, soaring inflation, rising interest rates, and tempered ad spending.” In addition to these less than stellar “macroeconomic conditions”, Pichai pointed to factors outside of the economy including expanding bureaucracy at Google, something that employees have criticized in recent company surveys.

Employees have been critical of Pichai as well, given how he brought in $6.3 million last year, with other top Google executives raking in over $28 million. It’ll be interesting to see, moving forward, where Google focuses most of its budget cuts and whether executives will be included among these cuts, or if they’ll continue to be exempt from them.

For more on Pichai’s statements to employees regarding budget cuts at Google, be sure to read through the full story over on CNBC. And for more on Google as a whole, check out some of our previous coverage including Google pushing back its third-party cookie replacement to 2024, and Google advertising revenue topping $56 billion in Q2 2022.