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Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc. speaks during an event in New Delhi on December 19, 2022. 
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Google is warning employees that fewer of them will receive promotions to more senior levels this year than in the past.

“The process is manager-led and will be largely similar to last year — though with our slower pace of hiring, we are planning for fewer promotions into L6 and above than when Google was growing quickly,” the company said in an email that was viewed by CNBC. The L6 distinction refers to the first layer of staff that’s considered senior and typically includes people with about a decade of experience.

The changes come as Google implements a new performance review system called Google Reviews and Development (GRAD), which as CNBC reported in December, will result in more Google employees receiving low performance ratings and fewer receiving high marks. Insider previously reported on Monday’s email.

Like many large tech companies, Google has a sprawling middle management. According to last year’s internal survey results, that hurt the company’s ability to ship products efficiently. Google is also in the midst of trying to cut costs as growth decelerates and recession concerns persist. The company has slowed hiring and announced in January that it’s cutting 12,000 jobs, or about 6% of the workforce.

In Monday’s email, Google said it’s promoting fewer people to senior roles “to ensure that the number of Googlers in more senior and leadership roles grows in proportion to the growth of the company.”

“If your manager believes that you are ready to be promoted, they will nominate you,” the email said. Workers in technical roles who want to “self-nominate” will have a “short window of time” between March 6-8 to do so, the email said.

Google didn’t immediately provide a comment for this story.

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