Google cut off 12000 staff including its mental health and wellbeing chief. According to Google’s former head of mental health and wellbeing, she was let go after nearly 15 years there.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Kristin Maczko has been employed by Google since 2008. She began her career as a data scientist but later moved into the financial sector, rising through the ranks at Google Cloud. She has worked in her “dream role” as Google’s mental health and wellbeing director since July 2021.
On January 20th, the tech giant announced that it would be laying off about 12,000 people, or 6.4% of its workforce. Some of them had been there for twenty years or more.
Maczko wrote on LinkedIn, “I have had so many emotions these past days.” The many friends and coworkers I have made at Google will be missed.
Maczko also mentioned that many of Google’s mental health and well-being staff had been let go, though she did not provide a number. One independent contractor planning programs for Google and YouTube’s mental health and wellness departments reported being let go in a smaller round of cuts earlier in the fall.
When asked how the layoffs had affected Google’s mental health and wellbeing team, the company did not immediately respond to Insider.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a memo to the remaining employees explaining the layoffs and blaming overhiring. He claimed the company had conducted a “rigorous review” and was eliminating jobs “across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels, and regions,” but many current and former Google employees Insider spoke with said they didn’t understand the reasoning behind the cuts.
Some U.S. workers were informed of their layoffs via cold, impersonal emails stating, “we no longer have a job for you at Google.” Those affected had to find another way to contact their managers for answers after the company swiftly disabled their work laptops and accounts. Still, according to employees who spoke with Insider, their managers were just as confused as they were.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” a West Coast engineer with over a decade of experience at Google told Insider. The engineer who was spared in the layoffs spoke on the condition of anonymity to safeguard his job, but Insider is aware of his true identity. “We’re letting go of people with years of experience, who are excellent workers, who had skills and knowledge, and they just kicked them out the door without consulting the managers who manage these people and have a real insight into their skills and abilities,” the employee said.
According to documents filed with the state of California, Google terminated the employment of dozens of directors across different departments.
While “the truly critical people” may not have been let go, “many good people” were, and the engineer can’t explain why.