Alphabet has doubled the headcount in its Google Cloud unit since early 2019, according to data obtained by The Information, outstripping Alphabet’s overall hiring growth. The rapid growth helps explain why Google Cloud’s losses continue to widen even as its revenue grows rapidly.
Google’s hardware unit and YouTube also each roughly doubled headcount between the first quarter of 2019 and this fall. And the number of employees working in marketing and finance roles across Google roughly doubled to 4,500 and 5,500, respectively. In comparison, Alphabet’s total employee count grew roughly 80% to 187,000 at the end of September, the company has said.
The numbers provide a view into where Google parent Alphabet has chosen to focus its hiring, likely the biggest expense for the tech giant. In a letter last week calling on CEO Sundar Pichai to cut staff, activist shareholder TCI said Google’s workforce was too large and it was paying employees too much. The median salary at Google is $295,884, according to its most recent disclosure. Google hasn’t said yet whether it plans to downsize, and if it does, the divisions that grew fastest won’t necessarily be targeted more than others.