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- Google’s head of mental health and wellbeing was laid off after 15 years working for the company.
- Kristin Maczko said it had been her “dream role,” and that many people on her team were let go.
- Current and former Google staff say they can’t find the rationale behind the layoffs.
Google’s head of mental health and wellbeing said she was laid off after nearly 15 years working for the company.
Kristin Maczko had started working at Google in 2008, according to her LinkedIn profile. After starting as a data scientist she had shifted to work in finance, including in leadership roles at Google Cloud. Since July 2021 she had served as director of Google’s mental health and wellbeing, which she described as her “dream role.”
The tech giant announced on January 20 that it was laying off around 12,000 workers, or 6.4% of its workforce. Some had spent two decades at the company.
“I have had so many emotions these past few days,” Maczko wrote on LinkedIn. “I am sad to leave the many friends and colleagues who I have worked with at Google.”
Maczko added that “many people” in Google’s mental health and wellbeing team had been laid off, though she did not specify how many. One contractor who worked on mental health and wellness program planning at Google and YouTube said she was affected by a smaller round of layoffs in the fall.
Google didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the extent to which its mental health and wellbeing team had been affected by the layoffs.
Explaining the layoffs, CEO Sundar Pichai said in a memo to remaining staff that the company had overhired. He said that it had undertaken a “rigorous review” and was laying off staff across “across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels, and regions,” though many current and former Google staff Insider spoke to said they couldn’t understand the rationale behind the decisions.
Some US staff found out they were laid off via impersonal emails which said the company was reducing its workforce “and we no longer have a job for you at Google.” The company swiftly cut off their work laptops and accounts, meaning affected staff had to reach out to their managers via other means to get clarity, though workers Insider spoke to said their managers were as clueless as they were.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” an engineer on the West Coast who’s been with Google for more than a decade told Insider. The engineer, who wasn’t affected by the layoffs, spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his employment but his identity is known to Insider. “We’re laying off people who’ve got years of experience, who are excellent workers, who had skills and knowledge, and they just booted them out the door without talking to the managers who manage these people and have a real insight into their skills and abilities.”
Filings Google made in California show that the company laid off dozens of directors across various divisions in the state.
“It does seem like the truly critical people were not laid off, but there’s a lot of good people that were laid off and it’s hard to see the rhyme or reason,” he added.