Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Even Google’s Cutting Back: Firing 100 Recruiters, Dropping Projects

Even Google, which posted profits of $1.3 billion last quarter alone, can’t keep expanding in this economy.

The search giant made a series of cuts yesterday: It fired 100 of its recruiters and announced it was shutting down a handful of its many side projects.

None of these moves means much on their own: Google (GOOG) still has some 20,000 employees, and some of the 100 HR folks it is cutting may find jobs somewhere else in the company. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find many Google users who are outraged about the stuff the company is pulling the plug on.

Jaiku, for instance, is a would-be Twitter competitor with no traction. And I know one person who professes to still use Dodgeball, a mobile/social service that seemed like a big deal in 2005, but never took off.

And if you’re determined to look on the bright side, you can view the cuts as a good thing: Wall Street has been begging Google to slow its hiring for at least a year. And even prior to last fall’s announcement that Google would be cutting “dark matter” projects that “haven’t really caught on” and “aren’t really that exciting,” CEO Eric Schmidt had been talking about refocusing on search.

The flip side: The layoffs are layoffs, and they are the first-ever at Google, which has only experienced growth in its 10-year history. And since the cuts are in the recruiting group, you can expect hiring to slow to a crawl. (Anyone apply for any of these jobs recently? Let me know how that went.) And if Google isn’t hiring, who is?


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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo