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Google firing two employees a month over leaks

updated 06:15 pm EST, Fri December 17, 2010

Google tight on leaks but making autonomous groups

Google has grown so concerned over leaks that it's now firing two employees a month, an investigation into its corporate structure has found. Possibly as a reaction to an exposure of its corporate culture, an average of two per month are being forced out. TechCrunch didn't detail what triggered many of the leaks although Google +1 and possibly Android-related slips are candidates given their frequency.

The policy is an unusual tightening of restrictions around Google, whose company structure has usually encouraged openness and sharing. Competition with Facebook and potentially Apple may have forced the search firm to clamp down and avoid revealing strategy. Apple has usually been the best known for extremely tight security in Silicon Valley companies and threatened firings over the iPad codename if it was so much as mentioned outside of certain areas.

In spite of the negative news, Google has reportedly taken the advice to heart and has set up some divisions to work almost entirely independently, without having to get approval or executive oversight. The switch was both to address accusations of bureaucracy slowing the company down as well as to prevent employees from defecting to Facebook or another rival without meaningful impact on the company.

An example has been the acquisition of social technology firm Slide, which has supposedly had more freedom to move. One longstanding attempt to negotiate a deal from within Google also reportedly went through quickly after months of stalled progress.

It's unknown which divisions have been given the freedom, although it may initially focus just on less essential projects; Slide is rumored to be working on unique photo sharing. Divisions producing the company's increasingly critical software strategy, such as the groups for Android, Chrome OS and Google TV, may still have relatively limited flexibility.

by MacNN Staff



  1. WalterC

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As the family chose to inbreed, the progeny became cannibalistic. Efficiency, yes, but difficult for the parents to discipline.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Aquisitions and fast growth...

    Googles is starting to face the many problems that Microsoft has had to face in the past. As they choose to go down the world domination path they need to acquire more and more companies to continue the growth that is required to compete against new technologies that have been late to the game with. In addition they are forced to adopt a more restrictive culture on their emploees (the type of culture that start ups do not suffer from). Being acquired by Google is no longer seen as a benefit by smaller companies (except shareholders) and employees choose to jump ship rather than be forced to change their themselves.

    Companies that grow slower such as Apple can grow organically and employ people who genuinely want to work for them and abide by company rules. They generally are more loyal, optimisic and motivated.

    Note that some people confuse the desrire for world domination with hat of product sales success and consumer happyiness.....

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    overstate your case much

    You forget their is a difference between what the peanut gallery casts on Google for their own entertainment, and the real Google.

    Average Joe kind of thinks this way, the U.S. government is good and does no wrong, never lies, protects babies and children. Microsoft and Google are evil, do no right, and are selfish and mean.

    The truth is, these over generalizations don't mean a lot.

    Google is not literally bent on 'world domination.' They merely are a corporation that intends to grow to produce value for their stockholder - like every other corporation. And secondly, happen to have been started by personalities that don't want to do evil in the world - yes, Google themselves tossed that word 'evil' into the discussion by vowing not to do evil, and that is evident in decisions such as fighting China over communist censorship.

    It does not however, manifest itself by shirking the responsibility to provide stock holder value - they must do that by law - and they are motivated by that, and it should surprise no one.

  1. CmdrGampu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "by law"?


    I don't think there's any law about having to provide value to stockholders. It's only good sense to do so otherwise you lose stock value. There are plenty of incompetent businesses out there that cratered, but their officers weren't prosecuted. The only thing the law forbids is outright fraud.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    World domination is used loosely....

    and obviously isn't to be taken literally. Dominanation in certain markets is Googles ambition otherwise they wouldn't be buying out online ad, search and social companies. Is there anthying wrong with this....nope...anthing illegal...nope.....will they suffer in the long run by becomming a bohemoth like Microsoft...slow to change direction and business strategy.....most likely.....find it hard to keep employees from moving on....definitely. "Do no evil" lost its truth about 3 years cannot run a multi-billion dollar business and expect not to trounce individuals and companies. Those people who feel that this corporate vision is still relevant need to take a look at Googles recent history.....Wi-Fi neutraility scanning.....firing individuals on dubious grounds such as speaking publicly or not fitting the right corporate demographic..and I won't even go into the many aquisiions Google has made this year....and for what! we we can view more ads on our phones which are using up vital bandwidth and phone/table resources....yay!

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