Peace and Love. Do It Right The First Time. That..Is Not Kermit. Travel Is Back. Messi To Cash In? Carry On.
- No matter your taste in music, it is difficult not to like some or most of the songs from Crosby, Stills, Nash, and sometimes Neil Young. Their music really did symbolize what was happening in the late 1960’s and 70’s, with lyrics that mimicked the peace and love movement of the country. I guess their music could be called folk-rock, and with their great ability to harmonize, C, S & N’s music provided hit after hit. Before C, S, & N, David Crosby formed the Byrds in the mid-60’s. One of the Byrd’s greatest hits, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” was made popular again in the mid-90’s thanks to the movie “Forrest Gump.” David Crosby went on to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame with the Byrds in 1991, and again with Crosby, Stills, & Nash in 1997. A salute to David Crosby, who at 81, passed away last Thursday at his home in California. RIP David Crosby.
- There is no doubt that the technology world and its providers are facing many challenges including rising interest rates, inflation, and online advertisers forced to cut back on ad spending. It was inevitable that these tech companies, enjoying the many years of hockey stick growth, added headcount at an unprecedented rate. The unfortunate consequence of a financial performance is cost-cutting, which is usually led by headcount reduction. In previous posts, I have expressed my disdain for some CEOs, who obviously have no conscience or accountability to their employees, announcing staff reductions on social media, including LinkedIn and Twitter. On Friday, Google announced they were laying off 12,000 people from its workforce, and I do admire the way CEO Sundar Pichai made the announcement with the email below. The email is very long, but I want everyone to read his way of announcing the layoffs. A clear and professional explanation, blended with empathy, and concern:
I have some difficult news to share. We’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles. We’ve already sent a separate email to employees in the US who are affected. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices.
This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I’m deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.
Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.
I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. To fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices. So, we’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.
To the Googlers who are leaving us: Thank you for working so hard to help people and businesses everywhere. Your contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful for them.
While this transition won’t be easy, we’re going to support employees as they look for their next opportunity.
In the US:
- We’ll pay employees during the full notification period (minimum 60 days).
- We’ll also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting.
- We’ll pay 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time.
- We’ll be offering 6 months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected.
- Outside the US, we’ll support employees in line with local practices.
As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.
Being constrained in some areas allows us to bet big on others. Pivoting the company to be AI-first years ago led to groundbreaking advances across our businesses and the whole industry.
Thanks to those early investments, Google’s products are better than ever. And we’re getting ready to share some entirely new experiences for users, developers and businesses, too. We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.
All this work is a continuation of the “healthy disregard for the impossible” that’s been core to our culture from the beginning. When I look around Google today, I see that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That’s why I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days. Today is certainly one of them.
I’m sure you have many questions about how we’ll move forward. We’ll be organizing a town hall on Monday. Check your calendar for details. Until then, please take good care of yourselves as you absorb this difficult news. As part of that, if you are just starting your work day, please feel free to work from home today.
- Headline of the Week: Delta Passenger Grabs Fire Extinguisher And Comes Out Spraying After Stealing Chicken Wings. I am not making light of what could have been a very serious situation in the Atlanta airport. I am saying that there must be an island. Is it possible that this woman and George Santos would be good island mates? (No, I am not referring to Santos’ politics).
- A few of my friends have a high level of coaching experience with both soccer and basketball. Over the years, all of them have told me that the big difference today from the past in both sports is the level of the athlete’s physicality. This includes size, strength, speed, and flexibility, which must stem from the type of training these athletes get to enjoy at an early age. There is no exact comparison of Lebron James at 6’9″, and Lionel Messi at 5’5″ – but similarities with both are their strength and impact they bring to the court and field. Training and nutrition are a big part of physicality, and today’s athletes, for the most part, have advanced their physicality to a much higher level than the athletes of the past.
Does the same hold true for the animal kingdom? Animal scientists and veterinarians can hopefully answer that question, but one would assume that most species are continuing to evolve. One example may come out of northeastern Australia, where park rangers discovered a ‘mammoth’ toad -weighing in at six pounds. One ranger was quoted that the massive toad was immediately removed from the wild because a six-pound toad will eat “anything it can fit into its mouth.” Please let that beast and its offspring stay in northeastern Australia.
Meet ‘Toadzilla’. No, and no.
- Along with other aspects of travel, including planes, trains, hotels, and cruise ships, no one could predict how all of these would come out of the pandemic. The cruise industry, already dealing with airborne, surface, and noroviruses on many of their ships, was hit extremely hard with the onslaught of Covid-19, especially during 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Though it took a good bit of time, it is remarkable how cruise carriers have recovered, now enjoying record passenger counts. Last Wednesday, six cruise ships set a record for the number of passengers visiting St. Maarten. Port of St Maarten Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Gumbs said: “This is a significant development for the destination when we look back at what we and the region, and the world had to endure with the pandemic and the shutdown of the cruise industry for 15-months.” Well done to the cruise industry!
- All of us enjoyed the performance of Argentina superstar Lionel Messi at last month’s World Cup. Messi earned his first World Cup trophy, in a dramatic 3-3 tie with France, which after thirty minutes of overtime, Argentina won on penalty kicks. Messi’s club team is Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), who competes in Ligue 1, the top division of French football. Last week, a Saudi Arabian Club, Al Hilal, has reportedly offered Messi $430 million a year to play with their club. This offer comes one month after Cristiano Ronaldo left massive club Manchester United and signed with another Saudi Arabian club for $300 million annually. When does this craziness stop?
- In honor of David Crosby, here is Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young performing “Carry On”, a near perfect song with their harmonies, melody changes, and guitar skills. To say the least, David Crosby will be missed. Enjoy this song – one that will never be replicated.