Has Google stopped offering staff bottled water as it cuts back on costs during the recession? It’s not clear even after journalists spent time with CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Larry Page at the Sun Valley conference this week.
Page and Schmidt couldn’t seem to agree on whether bottled water is still available for free at Google’s Mountain View, California campus, which is renown for its generous buffet-style lunches free for all employees.
Schmidt was telling reporters how the company has worked to get itself “right-sized” to perform well financially regardless of the ongoing economic downturn. One of those cuts was water he claimed.
Page, ever the tech geek, backed this comment with data. “We did a long analysis and discovered that reducing bottled water didn’t cause people to drink less water and more soda.” So they got rid of the bottled water.
Schmidt at first agreed, then seemed uncertain: “I’m sure I’ve seen bottled water somewhere.”