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Google CEO tells employees productivity and focus must improve, launches ‘Simplicity Sprint’ to gather employee feedback on efficiency

By | Jennifer Elias |

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced to employees Wednesday a new effort called “Simplicity Sprint,” which will solicit ideas from its more than 174,000 employees on where to focus and improve efficiency.
  • Pichai said Google’s productivity as a company isn’t where it needs to be given the head count it is, and warned of a toughening economy.
  • HR chief Fiona Cicconi also acknowledged industrywide concerns about layoffs, and said the company is “not currently looking to reduce Google’s overall workforce,” but reiterated the need for greater efficiency and focus.

Google is launching a new effort called “Simplicity Sprint” in an effort to improve efficiency and improve employee focus during an uncertain economic environment.

The Alphabet company had its regular all-hands meeting last Wednesday, and the tone was somewhat urgent as employees expressed concern over layoffs and CEO Sundar Pichai asked employees for input, according to attendees and related internal documentation viewed by CNBC. Google’s productivity as a company isn’t where it needs to be even with the head count it has, Pichai told employees in the meeting.

“I wanted to give some additional context following our earnings results, and ask for your help as well,” Pichai opened, referring to the company’s second-quarter earnings report Tuesday. “It’s clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead.”

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