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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Google Offers 300% Salary Increase to Retain Employee Considering Rival AI Firm

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In a recent development, Google has made waves in the tech industry by extending a remarkable 300% salary raise to dissuade an employee from joining a competing artificial intelligence (AI) company led by an alumnus of IIT-Madras.

The revelation surfaced during a discussion on the Big Technology Podcast with Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity AI, who shed light on the extraordinary measures major tech corporations such as Google are prepared to take in retaining their talent pool. Srinivas recounted a specific incident wherein Google proposed a substantial fourfold salary hike to an employee contemplating a role at Perplexity AI. Interestingly, the employee in question was not directly associated with Google’s AI division, as disclosed by an IIT Madras alumnus.

This development comes amidst Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s emphasis on the necessity for the company to make ‘tough choices’ to facilitate future investments. Pichai’s warnings about potential job cuts have amplified uncertainty among Google employees, highlighting the fiercely competitive landscape of the tech industry.

Srinivas also addressed the prevalent issue of layoffs within the tech sector, noting the ambiguity surrounding the criteria employed by companies to determine workforce reductions. He suggested that high-salaried employees not proportionately contributing to productivity might be targeted. Additionally, there appears to be a trend, particularly in companies like Google, towards meticulously assessing output relative to compensation, even accommodating extended vacations without operational disruption.

In the broader context of 2024, layoffs have been a common occurrence across the tech industry, with Layoffs.fyi, a renowned tracker for tech layoffs, reporting over 34,000 job terminations within the initial weeks of the year.

In a recent interview with the Morning Brew Daily podcast, Mark Zuckerberg discussed the fluctuating trends in e-commerce sales during the pandemic, resulting in significant shifts in online advertising revenue. This led to a realization among major tech companies, including Meta, that they had overstaffed and needed to conduct extensive layoffs.

Since January 10, Google has reportedly terminated over a thousand employees across various departments. This follows Sundar Pichai’s announcement in 2023 regarding plans to cut around 12,000 jobs, representing approximately 6% of Alphabet’s global workforce. Pichai conveyed this decision in an open letter, acknowledging the challenges ahead and the need for strategic adjustments in response to evolving market dynamics.

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