Google cuts 100 positions, closes 3 engineering centres

Google is planning to lay off 100 recruiters, and is closing down engineering offices in Texas, Norway, and Sweden as the company copes with the global economic downturn.

The company is still hiring, but at a reduced rate, it said in October during its quarterly earnings call. Given the state of the economy, Google recognized that it needs fewer people to do the hiring, Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Block wrote in a post on the official Google blog on Wednesday.

Navigating the downturn

Managing IT in a down economy

After winding down contracts with external contractors and vendors providing recruiting services, Google has now decided to reduce the overall size of its recruiting organization by about 100, Block said. The company hopes that many of them will find new roles at Google, he added.

Google is also asking 70 engineering staff at sites in Trondheim in Norway, Lulea in Sweden and Austin, Texas, to move to other locations, reducing the number of sites on which it operates, it said in another blog posting.

The company is making this move because it was becoming difficult to coordinate its engineering efforts across geographies, and provide engineers with significant, meaningful projects that make a real difference to people’s lives, Senior Vice President for Engineering & Research Alan Eustace wrote on Wednesday.

Google has engineers working in 40 offices in over 20 countries. In September, the company asked its engineers in Phoenix, Arizona, to move to other offices, and the vast majority have moved, Eustace said. The move enabled Google to build larger and more effective teams, reduce communication overhead, and give engineers increased options for future projects, he added.

The company’s long-term goal is not to cut engineering staff but to create a smaller number of more effective engineering sites, Eustace said.

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