Last week, we posited that Google might eventually have to start firing people to offset slowing revenue growth, shrinking profit margins, and a weak economy. Sales chief Tim Armstrong recently suggested that the company is, in fact, prepared to do that:
[L]ast week Tim Armstrong, president-sales and commerce, Americas, told a group of travel advertisers that the company is “watching the economy closely and making sure our expenses and revenue are very much aligned.”
Tim didn’t specify firings, and, in truth, we imagine that Google’s people would be the last costs to go. Google has grown so quickly and is reportedly so undisciplined on internal cost controls that we imagine the company could find hundreds of millions to cut before it let a single Googler go.
That said, we don’t think a small headcount reduction would be such a bad move. We continue to hear about bored old Googlers and the great divide between pre-IPO haves and post-IPO have-not Googlers. Anytime you have employees bemoaning high-quality problems like this, it’s helpful to remind everyone that they work on great team at a great company in an era when most folks are simply grateful to have jobs.