Google's Indian-Origin News Director Laid Off After 13 Years of Service

In a LinkedIn post, Chinnappa spoke about being in a "privileged position" to plan his next move.

South Asians
2 min read
Hindi Female

Google recently laid off Madhav Chinnappa, the Indian-origin director of News Ecosystem Development, who had dedicated 13 years of service to the company. In a heartfelt LinkedIn post, London-based Indian-origin Chinnappa expressed gratitude for his time at Google and spoke about being in a "privileged position" to plan his next move.

Chinnappa, holds a BA (Honours) in Economics and Policy Studies from the Rice University, Texas. He had an impressive 29-year professional journey before joining Google. His career included stints at BBC, United Business Media (UBM), and Associated Press Television News (APTN).

During his tenure at Google, Chinnappa played a significant role in several key initiatives, such as the Digital News Initiative and Google News Initiative Innovation Challenges. One notable project was the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund (JERF), which exemplified Google's commitment to supporting the vulnerable segments of the news ecosystem.


In his LinkedIn post, Chinnappa also disclosed his immediate plans for the coming months. "In the near term, I have some pressing family issues that need my fuller attention, so in the spirit of the Zen proverb that the tea cup must be empty before it can be full, I will take August off, then spend September looking after my mum in India," he explained. He also shared that he would start contemplating work in October, aiming to embark on new endeavours in 2024.

The news of Chinnappa's departure elicited heartfelt responses from his colleagues. Ludovic Blecher, Head of Innovation at Google News Initiative, praised Chinnappa's contributions and partnership, saying, "We’ve achieved a lot together, and you didn’t mention everything in your message. To be clear: this is only the tip of the iceberg, and very few know what it took in the background to make those good things happen. You made it possible. Above all, we kept integrity and honesty at the highest standard, and none can challenge the authenticity of our commitment for the future of news and journalism."

The concept of "gardening leave," wherein an employee receives a full salary without the obligation to come to the office, allowed Chinnappa the space and time to reflect on his career and life. Despite parting ways with Google, he expressed immense pride in the accomplishments achieved alongside his teammates and colleagues.

In January this year, Google announced its plans to cut more than 12,000 jobs and joined other tech giants in scaling back operations amid a weakening global economy and rising inflation.

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