The internet is like a courtroom but slightly different. Here, the hearing does not really happen and the judgements are passed much sooner. Those who are charged guilty are not on the receiving end of imprisonment and penalty, rather they face trolling and backlash in the form of memes. This timeSundar Pichai’s pay hike made him taste the brunt of Meme.

Sundar Pichai's hike and memes
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The Background

The economic situation of many countries has been weak over the last few months. The recent recession situation has forced many companies to lay off large numbers of employees and take several cost-cutting measures. Google, like other companies, has also been taking many measures to reduce its cost.

In January 2022, Google laid off a total of 12000 employees which is nearly 6% of the total workforce because of the troubled financial situation of the company. Sundar Pichai claimed complete responsibility for the incident.

Meme on Sundar Pichai's Pay hike
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Mr Pichai then said that the recruitment was done for “a different economic situation” and the reality is quite different. He was forced to take such a decision but believed that the situation would get better. Since then Google, which is known for its generosity and its famous perks, has cut it down to reduce the financial burden on the company.  This included reducing fitness sessions, reduction in employee laptop replacement schemes and shutting down of micro kitchens.

The Pay Hike

In a grim situation like this, the CEO of the Multinational Company received a pay hike in his salary. The Executive was paid a total of $226 Million in 2022. The drastic increase in the pay packet was because of the stock awards. This surge has made him one of the highest-paid CEOs in the United State Of America.

Before this, in an all Heads Meeting, Sundar Pichai was heard saying that he would take measures to cut costs for the company vis-a-vis the Google Executives by cutting down their annual bonuses. 

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The Meme War

Once the pay hike news of Sundar Pichai was known to Google Employees, they were obviously not very happy about it. However, there was nothing much they could do so they expressed their discontentment over memes which were shared heavily on Google’s internal platform. 

As reported by CNBC, the one meme that was very popular is the one comparing Sundar Pichai to the Villain of Shrek, Lord Farquaad of Duloc. “Sundar accepting $226 million while laying off 12k Googlers, cutting perks, and destroying morale and culture.” A quote from the character read, “Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.”

Meme on Sundar Pichai's Pay hike

Another one compared Sundar Pichai to Apple Ceo Tim Cook, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan and Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson, all of whom took pay cuts owing to the financial crisis, while Mr Pichai did not.

Finance chief of Google Ruth Porat, wrote last month in a rare company-wide email that the company is making “multi-year” cuts to employee services. “Ruth’s cost savings applied to everyone… except our hardworking VPS and CEO,” read one post on an internal Google employees forum.

The memes have been brutal but the employees definitely felt dejected. Google however has chose to remain quiet and no official statement is made. This pay hike has again got the income disparity debate as a part of mainstream conversations.