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Google fires head of mental health and wellness

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Google fires head of mental health

  • Google’s head of mental health and wellbeing has been fired after 15 years with the company.
  • Kristin Maczko wrote on LinkedIn that it was her “dream role” and that many of her team members had been fired.
  • Current and former Google employees say they can’t find justification for the layoffs.
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Kristin Maczko started working at Google in 2008, according to her LinkedIn profile. After starting out as a data scientist, she moved into finance, including leadership roles at Google Cloud. Since July 2021, she had served as Google’s director of mental health and wellbeing, which she described as her “dream role”.

The tech giant announced on Jan. 20 that it was laying off around 12,000 workers, or 6.4% of its workforce. Some had spent two decades in the business.

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“I’ve had so many emotions the past few days,” Maczko wrote on LinkedIn. “I am sad to leave the many friends and colleagues I worked with at Google.”

Maczko added on her LinkedIn post that “many people” from Google’s mental health and wellness team had been laid off, though she didn’t specify how many. A contractor who worked on planning mental health and wellness programs at Google and YouTube said she was hit by a small string of layoffs in the fall.

Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on how its mental health and wellness team had been affected by the layoffs.

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Explaining the layoffs, CEO Sundar Pichai said in a memo to remaining staff that the company had overhired. He said he had undertaken a “rigorous review” and was laying off staff across “Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions”, although many current and former employees of Google, Insider, said they couldn’t figure out the rationale. behind the decisions.

Some US employees discovered they had been fired via impersonal emails stating that the company was downsizing “and we have no more work for you at Google.” The company quickly cut off its laptops and work accounts, meaning affected staff had to contact its managers in other ways for clarification, though workers Insider spoke to said that their leaders were as ignorant as they were.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” a West Coast engineer who has worked at Google for more than a decade told Insider. The engineer, who was not affected by the layoffs, spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his job, but his identity is known to Insider. “We were firing people who had years of experience, who were great workers, who had skills and knowledge, and they just kicked them out without talking to the managers who manage these people and who have a real overview of their skills and abilities.”

Documents filed by Google in California show that the company has fired dozens of directors at various divisions in the state.

“It seems that the really critical people weren’t fired, but there are a lot of good people who were fired and it’s hard to see the rhyme or the reason,” the engineer added.

Have you been fired by Google? Or are you still working there? Contact this reporter at gdean@insider.com.

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