Doesn’t matter if it is a private firm, or a government agency. When Infosys comes in through the front door, American employees get forced out the back door into homelessness, suicide, or extreme poverty. Why is this firm allowed to operate in America?
That employee was one of at least dozens of members of Looker’s US-based support team who lost their jobs in early March. The decision had been planned “a few months in advance,” one Google Cloud exec said in an internal town hall after the layoffs, a recording of which was shared with Emerging Tech Brew. But until the day before, some Looker managers had no idea—even Looker’s head of engineering did not find out until after the fact.
Looker’s support team, known as the Department of Customer Love (DCL), plans to rely primarily on outsourced labor through contractors from Infosys, an IT staffing firm headquartered in India. For three months before the layoffs, Google Cloud executives tasked DCL employees with designing training programs for the new contractors, not knowing that their own roles were on the chopping block.
“We always asked, ‘What’s the goal of this? Why are we bringing on these [contractor] teams? Are our jobs at stake?’” The employee, who requested anonymity, recalled. “They would always be like, ‘No, no, no, of course not, we just want to bring on the [contractors] so that you guys can get more time off [customer] chat to work on other projects that we have.’…The timeline felt really aggressive.”
Google acquired the startup almost exactly two years earlier, for $2.6 billion—the first major acquisition under Google Cloud’s current CEO, Thomas Kurian. Since its 2012 debut, Looker had been steadily expanding in staff and scope and had landed clients like Kickstarter, Asana, TaskRabbit, and Moderna. One of Looker’s goals is to help provide “scalable machine learning,” like allowing users to pair ML models with organized data sets. In theory, its software platform makes Google Cloud even more attractive to clients looking to parse their reams of data.