Layoffs at Mighty Google?

Even search giant Google isn’t immune to the economic downturn. Earlier today, Google’s vice president of global sales and business development, Omid Kordestani shared some detailed about the layoffs in a blog post, “Changes to our sales and marketing organizations.”

Kordestani noted the company’s rapid growth, but also said it over-invested in some areas based on an expectation continued growth could be supported.

Clearly, the economy has caused many companies to rethink such forecasts. At Google, Kordestani said the number of sales and marketing personnel being let go would total “just under 200” and that, after looking at a number of other options, decided it had no choice but to restructure and let certain staff go.

He added that those laid off would be given an opportunity to find other positions at the company but, if that failed, would receive severance packages.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) still has over 20,000 employees, and a company spokesman confirms Google is still hiring in other areas, “but at a very reduced level.”

Last April, Google let go about 300 staffers from DoubleClick, which it acquired last year in a blockbuster $3.1 billion deal.

Visual design lead quits

In an unrelated development, Google lost a leader of its visual design efforts last week. Doug Bowman announced his resignation publicly in a blog post in which he complained about the company’s reliance on data to guide all decisions.

While he lauded Google’s success, Bowman said he got tired of having every decision come to down to testing. He said in part:

“Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that. I’ve grown tired of debating such minuscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.”

Google’s shares were up 2.68 percent today, closing at $353.29

News Around the Web