Within months of Twitter’s layoff crisis, BigTech companies such as Meta, Microsoft, and Google, among others, followed suit. They were supposed to perform better. Unfortunately, they did not. Google chose to fire its’s Director of Global Mental Health and Well Being out of all staff to fire!
Kristin Maczko, the former head of Google’s mental health and wellbeing, posted a 500+ note on the professional networking site LinkedIn following her dismissal. She said numerous members of Google’s mental health and wellbeing staff had been let go.
“To those who remain, Googlers need you more than ever now, and I am excited to see what you will do,” she wrote.
On January 20, Google announced the layoff of approximately 12,000 employees, with CEO Sundar Pichai stating that “we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”
Stanford University awarded Maczko a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Her first and only job had been with Google for 15 years (until now). She began as a Data Scientist in 2008 before switching roles until 2021, when Maczko was promoted to Director of Global Mental Health and Well Being. She describes it as a “dream role” in which she could put her psychology expertise to use.
She’s been on an emotional roller coaster since being laid off. It’s a terrible reminder of how harsh big techs can be. But, it is also a note for everyone who has been laid off. She quotes a great piece from Parker Palmer’s “Let Your Life Speak” to other Googlers laid off with her.
A tranquil image of a rustic road split accompanies the note. Perhaps an analogy of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.