Interesting times for Google
The clearest sign of change may be that for the first time in its history, Google’s work force shrank. The company ended the quarter with 20,164 employees, down 58 workers from the end of the year. The decline may be modest, but it is a sharp contrast from just 18 months ago, when Google added more than 2,100 employees in a single quarter.
Google’s rate of growth has slowed in an equally stark fashion as a result of the recession and of Google’s own vast size. Revenue in the first quarter rose just 6 percent to $5.51 billion from $5.2 billion a year ago. First quarter growth was 42 percent in 2008 and 63 percent in 2007.