With Google's shares now trading at the bargain-basement price of $275, the once impervious shining-corporation-on-a-hill has been moved to do some belt-tightening. The Wall Street Journal has the latest on Google's austerity diet:
For much of its 10-year history, Google spent money at a pace that was the marvel of Silicon Valley. It hired by the thousands and dished out generous perks, including three free meals a day, free doctors, ski trips and laundry facilities, and subsidized personal trainers. It let engineers spend 20% of their time pursuing pet projects. The company's goal was to develop new products that would reduce its nearly total reliance on selling ads connected to Internet searches.Now?
So with the U.S. economy in a recession, Google is ratcheting back spending and cutting new projects.I've eaten at a free Google cafeteria and it was pretty fucking good, so I know that's going to hurt.
This fall, the company announced plans to "significantly" reduce its roughly 10,000 contract workers, whose jobs range from engineering to food services. While the timing and focus of the cuts remain unclear, Google employees already are joking that it's getting easier to find a spot in the company's crowded parking lots.Google has also begun chipping away at perks. In recent months, it reduced the hours of its free cafeteria service and suspended the traditional afternoon tea in its New York office.