Google Stiffs It’s Employees With a Mobile Phone. Your a mean one Mr. Grinch…

Here is this years recession induced corporate chicken out in rough times Google has announced its employee bonus. In it, Google announces the gift of a new Faux G1 phones  know as the “Dream Phone”. G1’s are sold through T-Mobile and come loaded running Google’s very own mobile operating system, Android.  While it may appear it purchased these phones via Overstock  they are customized with the Google Droid. In the past Google has bestowed wonderful bounties of the harvest upon its employees with large year end cash bonuses but not this year. This year you get a dream phone… (what about the Barbie Dream House?) and as a super sweet bonus some extra work testing out their new mobile operating system. Gee thanks Mr. Scrooge, I can work even at home in my free time on your projects. How wonderful are you? And what a happy name the Dream Phone, like it will magically take your troubles away unless you are a Google employee in any of the countries where Googles crack legal team failed to secure the rights. IE:India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Ukraine.

Here is Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s Mr Scrooge Christmas Bonus Letter.

Googlers,
The holiday bonus is a Google tradition – it’s a great way to thank everyone for their hard work. In the past, we’ve done this in cash. This year, we’ve decided to give Googlers a different kind of present – a Dream phone . We’re really excited about getting the phone to more Googlers in more countries, and also seeing all the cool new things you do with it.

Shipping these special edition phones in such a short time frame (they were designed especially for Googlers with a ‘droid’ on the back) and making sure they would work anywhere in the world was no small feat. So a big thank you to the Android and Legal teams for making this happen. While these phones do not have SIM cards, they are unlocked so they can be used with the network provider of your choice. Plus – thanks to more fancy footwork from the Android team – they’ll work immediately as WiFi devices!

Sadly, despite all our best efforts, there are some countries – India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Ukraine – where even our legal team could not work their magic. Googlers in these countries will receive the cash equivalent of the phone in their December paychecks, which is about $400 USD. Overall though almost 85% of Googlers globally will be able to receive the phone – including the United States, Western and Central Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Japan.

The holiday gift team in your office will be sending out an email with logistical information on distribution shortly. We know that some of you are already on your holidays – don’t worry – your phones will be waiting for you when you come back! For more information, check out the FAQ here.

Some of you will of course be wondering why we decided to change from a cash bonus to the Dream phone. Here are the reasons. First, we’ve never developed anything like the Android software before and this represented a unique opportunity to celebrate that achievement. Googlers globally have been asking for the Dream phone and we’re looking forward to seeing all the different things that you do with them. This is a chance for us to once again dogfood a product and make it even better! Second, as we discussed in our email this week, the current economic crisis requires us to be more conservative about how we spend our money. We felt that giving the Dream phone would be a great holiday present – something we could all celebrate.

Thank you for all that you do to make Google the company that it is. We hope that you will enjoy using your Dream phone in 2009 and have a very happy holiday!

I find it odd that Google would forage in to the muddled world of Mobile phone operating systems. I believe the mobile screens are far too small to produce quality search results and advertising content effectively. I feel this might just be a jealous foray into the mobile market due to Microsoft’s Mobile small successes and Google must dominate. The operating system adventure seems like a guilty pleasure of highly competitive entrepreneurs or silly attack on Microsoft disguised as business genius. Who knows?

In other mobile news it appears that U2’s Bono is no longer BFF’s with Steve Jobs. Bono’s private equity fund Elevation Partners  has snatched up top level Apple talent and owns a 39% stake in Palm including a recent $100 million dollar investment. Awkward… Didn’t Bono appear in Bill Gates Farewell Video?

Googles  Employee Bonus FAQ.

Is this an end to the Google bonus fairytale?

For those not in the know… to dogfood one’s product is a negative tech-industry euphemism for in-house testing of products.

Maybe I am just jealous because all I got was a free turkey where I was asked to donate it to the homeless shelter.

UPDATE: Its not just Google its also Utah’s Department of Alcholic Beverage Control that was the Grinch. The DABC handed out most of its bonuses to Executives and managers not to the high turn over position of lowly cashier.  Bonuses rare for Utah liquor cashiers

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4 Comments

  1. Yes, let’s all whine that Google gives its employees a bonus , which is called a bonus because it is NOT a requirement, of a $400 mobile phone. It’s a gift, just be thankful for Christ’s sakes. Google isn’t the Grinch here, it’s the unappreciative assholes who whine about getting a $400 mobile phone as a gift from their employer.

  2. Liza,

    I don’t work for Google. I do believe that any company that gives out an end year bonus should do it in cash. I don’t want a turkey voucher. I don’t want a coupon book. I don’t want a half off coupon at Walmart. I believe companies best server their employees by giving cash not gifts that people may or may not want.

    Eran

  3. I believe if employees don’t like the bonus that their company so graciously gives, they should not take the bonus and let someone with a little more gratitude and appreciation have it instead.

  4. My point has nothing to do with being gracious. I will always smile and say thank you even if the gift is a turd wrapped up nicely. Manors aren’t in question here. My points is why not save some money, aggravation and give their employee something that is more useful and likely more needed. Creating the custom phone for Googlers was probably more expensive than doing other things. If I am the lowly janitor for Google and I got a $400 phone that I can’t pay for the service on, its a lousy bonus. If I am a tech guy I most likely already using the phone I want and another one probably isn’t that nice of a gift and will be re-gifted. I think that cash and gift cards at useable places (supermarket, Walmart, Target) are always more welcome especially in a bad economy.

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