Scrutinizing Googleplex spending and holding Larry Page accountable for the last quarter during which he wasn’t CEO
In the analysts’ eyes, Google’s spending played a big role in the stumble on Thursday. The company had gone on a hiring spree — it added nearly 1,900 new workers during the quarter — and made good on a previous promise to give all its employees a 10 percent raise. Operating costs including salaries were $2.84 billion in the first quarter, up 55 percent from a year earlier.
Asked repeatedly about the spending in a call with analysts, the Google executives who did stick around stressed that the hiring was necessary to help build emerging products like mobile and YouTube that will pay off in the long run. Patrick Pichette, Google’s chief financial officer, emphasized that Google was disciplined and that all units had to justify their costs.