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Google clips 200 sales and marketing staff

Admits imperfection

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Google has admitted it's not perfect.

With a blog post this afternoon, the company confessed to cutting nearly 200 jobs from its global sales and marketing organization, acknowledging that in its mad dash to digitize all the world's information and plaster it with ads, it made some mistakes.

"Google has grown very quickly in a very short period of time. When companies grow that quickly it's almost impossible to get everything right - and we certainly didn't," reads the post, penned by senior VP for global sales and business development Omid Kordestani.

"In some areas we've created overlapping organizations which not only duplicate effort but also complicate the decision-making process. That makes our teams less effective and efficient than they should be. In addition, we over-invested in some areas in preparation for the growth trends we were experiencing at the time."

As of December 31, the company employed 20,222 people, so the cuts amount to about one per cent of its staff. According to Kordestani's blog post, Google will try to find other company posts for the 200, and if it can't, severance will be provided.

"Making changes of this kind is never easy - and we recognize that the recession makes the timing even more difficult for the Googlers concerned. We did look at a number of different options but ultimately concluded that we had to restructure our organizations in order to improve our effectiveness and efficiency as a business."

Google's search-ad money machine continues to defy a shrinking economy, but in recent months the company has shown a new-found interest in cutting costs. In mid-January, it jettisoned 100 recruiters while murdering or semi-murdering several online services, including Google Catalog Search, Google Video, Google Notebook, Google Dodgeball, and Google Mashup Editor. Then, in February, it euthanized its radio-ad biz, cutting around 40 full-time employees.

During the company's latest earnings call, CEO Eric Schmidt said the company now has a "tight control over costs," admitting this had "eluded us perhaps in the past." ®

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